Lackluster ISV InitiativeBy Michael Vizard | Posted 2008-02-27 Email Print
Channel Insider sat down with HP's channel chief to discuss the ways in which the vendor needs to ease partner frustrations.
6. Lackluster ISV Initiative: Half of all hardware is sold when the application is installed, but ISVs were pretty much absent from HP's partner conference this week. In particular, HP has been remiss in partnering with ISVs that could help shift applications from IBM mainframes to high-end HP servers.
7. Software Group Missing in Action: HP has made some admirable investments in software lately by acquiring a number of companies. Most of the HP Software Group was absent from the conference this week, and it appears the HP Software Group is in the process of setting up its own separate channel program and related conference.
8. Not Enough Emphasis on Services Products: This may be as much a problem inherent to the HP partners than the company itself, but the fact remains that the percentage of partners selling high-margin HP Care Packs on top of low-margin hardware products remains fairly low. This may also suggest that the percentage of partners opting to attach HP peripheral and memory products to every PC sale may not be as high as it could be.
9. Conflicts with HP Professional Services: HP has big ambitions for this group, but as yet there are no clear rules for engagement between HP Services and the services operations of its channel partners beyond the fact that HP would like its partners to resell HP Professional Services.
10. Misaligned IT Systems and Reporting Mechanisms: Partners are concerned about the amount of time it takes to get compensated by HP. The reporting applications and the associated IT systems they run are being consolidated, which in turn is disrupting business processes. Every discrepancy has to be resolved on a case-by-case basis, as it could be as much as another year before HP consolidates all its systems.
To HP's credit, the company has made phenomenal progress in terms of reducing the amount of conflict between its direct sales force and the channel. Its solution provider partners generally remain steadfastly loyal, and the company remains a critical component of the channel as a whole.
But its recent financial success overseas and in the consumer market, coupled with wave after wave of reorganization, has left more than a few partners wondering whether HP has become a little complacent in the channel by focusing on modest adjustments at a time when partners are dealing with economic uncertainty and technological upheaval.
With some luck and effort, HP will find its way in the channel again—hopefully, sooner than later.