Reinventing HP

Leading up to HP’s impending split, Alaa Alshimy, VP Enterprise Group and MD HP Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa, spoke to Channel Middle East about the impact the split is going to have on the regional channel and the importance of partner engagement in the “new style of IT.”

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Reinventing HP
By  Manda Banda Published  February 19, 2015

Alshimy is urging members of his MEMA executive team to help the company bring more partners to the table as part of an all-out channel sales growth charge for calendar year 2015.

The tireless and enthusiastic Alshimy, has been doing more than his fair share to move the channel sales needle across MEMA.

He added that in the MEMA cluster, HP has been very successful and retains the number one spot in terms of volume of business, coverage and the number of channel partners working with the company. “For any vendor to be number one and maintain the position, it’s not an easy task. It requires hard work, creativity and innovation from a technology and product breadth,” he said.

Alshimy said as a result, HP has announced the PartnerOne and ServiceOne programmes and these initiatives are unique in that they don’t have gating or capping limitations for partners. “We are enabling partners to deliver HP services through the ServiceOne scheme. So if you look at it, we are increasing the benefits and amount of dollars partners are making from their alliance with HP from a sales and delivery persepective,” he said.

He added that when you are talking about how HP and partners are going to grow the business together and what the opportunities are in the market, what is the innovative technology, that is when you are winning and that is the big difference with the channel.

That big difference it seems is changing the dynamic in the sales trenches and rattling the channel landscape across the region with the company’s recently launched partner portal Unison. The Unison platform is the work HP has done over the last 18 months and may well be the biggest game-changer in creating tighter alignment between HP and its channel partners.

According to the company, there are 50,000 partners with joint business plans on Unison collaborating with HP partner business managers and sales teams, sharing leads through the platform, using Salesforce.com Chatter to get questions answered and getting speeded-up quotes on HP products, including servers and converged systems.

Industry pundits say Unison is helping drive a channel renaissance for a company that was focused on cutting costs to make earnings and had clearly “lost its way with the channel”.

Alshimy added that’s the reason HP introduced Unison, was to unify any engagement with all partners via a single platform. “It covers everything from generating sales quotes, deal registration, design and architecture,” he said. “Through this initiative, we have made it much easier and faster for partners  to engage with us and see their ROI with the HP business.

He added that HP is also increasing its resources by about 20% to the channel management organisation within the company. “You have to invest in order to grow in the sales channel,” said Alshimy. “So we have made these investments and they are paying off.”

He added that HP is also putting more emphasis on the routes to market and through this, the company has placed lots of focus on the SMB, commercial and public sector markets.

While Alshimy is stoking the HP innovation engine and has partners talking business outcomes rather than commodity product speeds and feeds, it’s how the vendor implements its new style of IT that will make a huge difference.

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