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Just a few weeks away from starting her new position as Hewlett-Packard’s
vice president of SMB sales, Ramona Thibeault tells Channel Insider her first
priority is to listen.

HP announced last week it was promoting Thibeault, a 10-year HP veteran, to
the newly created position within HP’s Solution Partners Organization,
effective May 1. Her new role will encompass SMB-focused products from all
three business units: HP’s Personal Systems Group, Imaging and Printing Group,
and Technology Solutions Group. Previously, Thibeault served as vice president
of PSG.

"Through the first 60 to 90 days, I’m going to listen" to partners
and to SMB-focused personnel in each of HP’s regional business units, Thibeault
said. "I don’t have all the answers, so I need input from each of the
regional business units that can help drive consistency and simplicity for

She said her biggest challenge is to find common ground and develop
consistent strategy across SMB products from the three business units, though
she stressed that HP already has a number of successful SMB-focused
initiatives. Thibeault cited HP’s free
on-site training initiative for SMB partners
and the vendor’s SMB Expressway
partner Web site, which offers marketing and sales collateral, support
information, and other information tailored to SMBs. 

 Thibeault said there are numerous opportunities for HP’s SMB partners,
since HP has an incredible breadth and depth of products for them to sell.

"We are soup-to-nuts—from handhelds all the way to complex servers,
from consumers to business," she said.

One possible new initiative would be solution bundles targeting both
horizontal markets such as servers, storage and virtualization, and vertical

"We have the products. What we have to do is bundle the right product
combinations together to get to the right customers," she said, adding
that there’s not just one simple answer when looking to fulfill as complex a
market as SMBs. 

Thibeault will also take over oversight of HP’s SMB Partner Advisory Council
from Mike Parrottino, currently vice president of channel sales in the Personal
Systems Group. Parrottino will take over Thibeault’s position as vice
president of PSG sales, also effective May 1.

HP also announced that Mark Nehring was named director of direct reseller
channel sales in the HP Solutions Partners Organization. He will assume the
role May 1.