Business partners are getting caught in the crossfire as Hewlett-Packard stumbles in its efforts to migrate direct customers to the channel, ARN has learnt.
Already, one key end user has expressed disgust at the way HP has handled the transition process.
Despite having dealt with the company dir-ectly for more than 15 years, Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) in the Solomon Islands discovered by default that its maintenance and support had become the responsibility of an alliance partner.
"To be honest, the first we heard of it was when we logged a fault call to Melbourne and they said we had to deal with Datec, a new company just started here in the Solomons," Samuelu Taufao, FFA's IT manager, told ARN. "I thought I knew HP well enough to be told beforehand."
But in addition to being extremely annoyed about the way the transition has been handled, Taufao does not think HP has acted with due diligence in nominating Datec to support FFA.
Having just launched a world-leading vessel tracking system, FFA requires specialist Unix support to keep the mission-critical application running. Taufao claims Datec's areas of expertise do not include the HP-UX environment, so FFA has received the support it needs.
"As far as I know, they mainly do PC maintenance," Taufao said. "We have used Datec only once and it couldn't solve our problems, so we ended up fixing the items ourselves.
"We have had no information from HP on Datec and we are not going to be a guinea pig."
According to HP, Datec has offices across the Pacific Islands and, in addition to its PC expertise, is a major IBM reseller, handling large systems as part of its services portfolio.