Hewlett Packard's present technology road map is forcing its existing reseller base to navigate a new course requiring new skills, senior company officials said last week.
Duane Zitzner, HP vice president and general manager, personal systems group, said the growing demand for sophisticated electronic business systems, coupled with the transition towards services-oriented solutions is forcing HP to expand its current sales model.
For instance, HP officials claim the vendor runs the world's third-largest intranet, and in order to better leverage this resource, "resellers will have no choice but join the information age," said Christopher Greig, commercial sales and marketing manager, HP computer products sales and distribution.
In Reference to persistent rumours last year of Compaq going direct, and online sales success for Dell and Gateway 2000, Greig said there is a lot of "doubt and disillusionment" in the channel. However, if the channel doesn't embrace the electronic age, it will be left behind, he claimed.
HP is now recognising the need for more technology savvy channel partners, given the vendors commitment to the concept of e-business.
"Looking back, we should have invested more in the development of our corporate resellers," Greig said.
"Not addressing this properly hurt our reputation in the corporate space."
Last year, HP shelled out $2 billion for e-commerce specialists Verifone.
"That's not chump change," Zitzner said, and HP needs to ensure that investment pays dividends.