IT services company, ComputerCorp, is the latest HP partner to voice concerns about the vendor’s direction.
The managing director of the WA-based reseller, Hugh Smith, said he had completely re-engineered the whole company during the past two years because of continued dissatisfaction with its HP relationship.
Smith, whose company has been a HP partner for 16 years, claimed many other resellers were also changing their businesses because of a perception that HP was dealing directly with an increasing number of large customers.
He said this was supported by the recent announcement that up to 10 per cent of its top imaging and printing business would be taken direct through its Corporate Account Program. This forced the channel to respond by exploring other opportunities.
For its part, Smith said ComputerCorp was moving more towards providing solutions and was actively growing its relationships with leading software vendors, including Trend Micro and Veritas, and hardware alternatives such as IBM and Toshiba.
He was also monitoring progress in the Linux space as well as the emerging technologies of Cisco and Sun.
“All of those areas mitigate risk for us, primarily against HP, which is perhaps a little reckless and can inadvertently hurt the channel,” Smith said.
“As the channel gets more involved with selective outsourcing, its advantage will be vendor independence,” he said.
“We don’t have to be HP everything and I think customers will come to recognise that.”
Smith said 33 per cent of ComputerCorp’s gross profits for the financial year ending June 30 were from services. More than one-third of that business was now coming from outside WA.
The goal for this financial year, he said, was to increase both its services component and business from outside its home state to 50 per cent.
The national push started two years ago when ComputerCorp opened a Canberra office to service one of its biggest partners, EDS.
Smith said it would continue to build towards national coverage with the addition of a Brisbane office before year’s end.
ComputerCorp’s Melbourne office, which was established six months ago, has also seen change with the recent departure of state manager, Glenn Thomson.
While change created uncertainty, Smith said it also created opportunity.
He anticipated the company’s whitebox business would double its sales during this financial year, and claimed he was expecting a minimum 20 per cent increase in turnover.
This would bring total turnover to about $120 million.
When contacted, HP said it was company policy not to comment on the business strategies of its channel partners.