Like a formula one driver at the top of his game, HP has shown remarkable consistency as the company negotiated the bends, curves and hairpins of the market over the past year.
For the past three years, it has shown the same consistency in its execution of its ‘Three Pillars’ channel vision of mutual profitability, growth and predictability .The approach has worked well for the company, which, this year pulled off a hat trick and won its third Hardware Vendor of the Year award in a row at the ARN IT Industry Awards 2009.
HP director enterprise servers and storage for South Pacific, Paul Robson, said the company was humbled but proud to win the gong three years running. The key to winning the award, he said, was the infrastructure giant’s continued investment in the channel, especially during the past 12 months, which have been dominated by the global financial crisis.
“Unlike some vendors, we have not reduced resources in the channel but have increased the number of sales representatives we have managing the channel over that 12 months,” Robson said. “We have increased our investment in pre-sales capability and supporting the channel via our HP business partner solution architect program [BPSA] to provide channel partners technical reasons they can put in front of a customer, which provide a compelling reason for them to purchase IT equipment in a downturn.”
Not dissimilar to many governments around the world during the global financial crisis, HP opted to stimulate the channel through continued spend and investment, Robson said.
“They key for us was to provide partners with activity and resources to maximise their opportunities, so we put in place an increased number of people in the channel to provide support, lead generation, and programmatic activity for our partners,” he said.
Another factor in HP’s success has been the range of products it made available during the past 12 months, Robson said.
“One of the things HP brings to the channel is simply great products and we have had a really good run of bringing to market new technologies such as our ProLiant G6 Intel servers, new storage products such as our lefthand P4000 SAN Solution, a whole range of new notebooks and PCs, and we have refreshed quite a number of products in our printer range,” he said.
“The latest IDC results that came out show HP going strength to strength and remaining number one in the x86 server market. We’re number one in the total disc storage market according to IDC. We’ve taken significant share with out partners over the last six months.”
HP has also worked on more tools for the channel to use such as ROI calculators to encourage cash-strapped customers to invest in ICT equipment during the downturn.
“For example, working with a partner we can show a customer how migrating off a G4 server to a G6 can achieve a complete payback on the hardware in three months,” Robson said. “That kind of message really resonates in these kind of market conditions.”
And, of course, there’s the company’s three pillars of mutual profitability, programs that provide for growth across reseller and partner community, and predictability, Robson said.