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Channel executives have mixed views on the recent promotion of Kevin Gilroy, who until last month ran Hewlett-Packard Co.’s channel program.

On the one hand, they are supportive of the longtime channel executive’s move to senior vice president of HP’s worldwide SMB segment operation. On the other hand, they hope the change won’t derail the initiatives Gilroy put into motion.

Eileen Gibson, vice president of product marketing for Avnet Partner Solutions’ Hewlett-Packard Business Unit, notes that Gilroy was about three-quarters through a 100-day plan. “Kevin had laid out a pretty clear path of action for this team.”

Gilroy’s team, for example, has been working to simplify the certification process regarding HP’s enterprise products. Some channel players were concerned that the process was overly taxing and took selling time away.

But Gibson says HP is well on the way toward making sales and technical certification tracks easier to accomplish. Michael Haley, vice president of Arrow Electronics’ SMB Division, adds that HP’s effort will make certification “possibly less expensive” and involve less time away from the office. The SMB Division provides resellers with HP midrange server and storage products.

The revised certification program is expected to debut later this month.

In addition to the certification effort, HP also is gearing up initiatives in the ISV and services sectors, according to Haley. In services, HP wants to help resellers partner with HP Services, especially to do battle with the likes of IBM Global Services.

The channel’s desire for such efforts to continue makes some observers a touch anxious to get the new channel boss in place. But Gibson says she would be surprised to see Gilroy’s successor make major changes. She says that the channel program has continued on course since the announcement of Gilroy’s departure. “I haven’t seen anything stop the activities put into motion,” she adds.

Likewise, Haley says he is “extremely confident that all the good things Kevin put in place will happen.”

Still, there’s a lot to be said for continuity. And that’s probably why HP has suggested it will move quickly to replace Gilroy. Stay tuned.