New HP boss sends message to channel

Resellers uncertain of whether to expect any changes to HP's channel strategy following the appointment of a new Middle East managing director have been reassured by the man elected to the position that they remain a vital component of the company's strategy moving forward.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  August 19, 2007

Resellers uncertain of whether to expect any changes to HP's channel strategy following the appointment of a new Middle East managing director have been reassured by the man elected to the position that they remain a vital component of the company's strategy moving forward.

However, in line with the PC and printing vendor's global channel policies, John Hoonhout - who was officially named as the permanent replacement for Joseph Hanania last week - has warned resellers that HP will not be afraid to reduce exposure to partners it deems uncommitted to investing in the HP brand.

Speaking exclusively to Channel Middle East, Hoonhout stressed that his elevation to the hotseat would not signal any drastic changes to HP's partner strategy in the region, adding that the company will continue to "improve and leverage" its partner network.

"What we are looking to do is to really focus on creating a win, win, win scenario for the customer, the partner and HP," explained Hoonhout. "Virtually all of our product business in the region is fulfilled through partners and that is unlikely to change in the future. So our partner network is a very valuable asset to us that we will continue to invest in and grow."

Since launching its Preferred Partner Programme two years ago, HP has made no secret of the fact that resellers who invest in their relationship with the vendor and build up specialisations around its technology stand to earn greater rewards than those who do not demonstrate the same degree of loyalty. Hoonhout endorsed that strategy and warned resellers that HP will continue to scrutinise its partner community.

"What we will continue to do is to work with those channel partners that are demonstrating a high level of commitment to HP, those who are managing their business well, who are growing their business, and we'll continue to focus our efforts there," promised Hoonhout. "With those partners where their loyalty is perhaps divided, maybe that will become a little bit more of a low-touch engagement for us. We simply can't treat all the partner companies exactly the same so it's really focusing on where we see the best return on the mutual investments that we and the partner make," he added.

To read the full interview with new HP Middle East managing director, John Hoonhout, catch the September issue of Channel Middle East.

3679 days ago
adam wilcook

It seems that HP having lots of problems finding a replacement of Joseph hanania; it took them more than 8 months to decide on Mr. Hoonhout in this position. You have just to look to his profile to know that he can not add anything to HP in this region, and replacing Hanania is not an easy task, Joseph was one of the most successful personalities in IT sector in the region and he had the trust of all government and non government HP partners, I am wondering about Hanania’s next landing, hope he stay in the region.

3682 days ago
Auda Hazeem

This sounds like HP's new boss has his work cut out for him. The thing is that I am not sure that HP was successfull in developing the market in the Middle East the way it should have. A call to thier Dubai office will quickly reveal how disorganized the sale's team is. 
 
HP's message in this reason is not powerful, that is if they have one. HP will require a different kind of leadership to execl in this market. From what I read, the new boss is using the carrot and the stick approach to build channel "trust". I am not sure I agree. The strategy of winning trust takes a lot mor than such an approach. 
 
Good luck to HP in the Middle East.

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