HP Enterprise Group vice president and general manager, South Pacific Alan Hyde has described the Cisco channel as a "race to the bottom" as he revealed the strategy to claw back market share ahead of the company split.
Hyde laid out a four-pronged strategy for the Enterprise arm of the company, (networking, software, services) which will work out to be roughly half of the company, in terms of revenue, once the company is broken up.
The other half, HP Inc, will control the PC and printing businesses.
Hyde said the overarching strategy was positioning in the market what the company calls the 'new style of IT'.
"We think the compute platforms that our customers are running need to evolve to meet the changing demands of business," he said.
"We are doing a lot of work this year around enabling our channel to understand that strategy as well as our own sales force."
The second priority is around growth, according to Hyde.
"We are getting good growth back in our business and we are taking share which is really excting, so we really want to double down and accelerate the growth," he said.
The third pillar is enabling the channel through a larger investment in education, accreditation and marketing programs.
Hyde said it was part of "doubling down" on the growth agenda.
The fourth strategy point was around services specifically.
He said there was going to be a lot of work expanding the company's services engine.
"We have our ServiceOne program, our PartnerOne program, which is how we enable them an bring those services along to be complementary to their businesses," he said.
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"That is requiring a shift to more solutions, outcome based selling and so the mix of products and services is changing and I would say there will be more and more services in addition to what was the pure infrastructure play before."
Hyde said the company was growing across all portfolios, but some more so than others.
"Converged infrastructure is really hot at the moment," he said.
"We have announced converged infrastructure for HANA for Hadoop in the big data area, for virtual desktop environment and for Helion private Cloud," he said.
"All of those are growing very well and are a massive opportunity for the channel.
He said the other big opportunity area was in networking.
"I think we are really taking the fight to Cisco now," he said.
"We have a well differentiated networking story. I think the Cisco channel is a race to the bottom, whereas we can add value and increase resellers' profitability. We can also help channel players differentiate themselves with a software defined networking story, and it's very exciting."
While Cloud moves from trend to business driver, Big Data and software-defined networking also slowly march forward.
Hyde said both were at tipping points.
"Big data is probably a little bit ahead of SDN, but I would say in the last three to six months there's been a real pick up in the interest and in the investment in SDN," he said.
"The use cases are out there, the adopters are getting the benefits and the technology has matured a little bit more so I would say we are really now at the start of that SDN push.
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"And when I put SDN together with the software-defined datacentre, I think there's a great opportunity for channel partners to move their customers to a new software defined world where they can manage the datacentre and the network through one pane of glass."
Hyde predicted that the service provider market would increasingly move to outsourcing their datacentre needs.
"Those datacentres will be managed as part of a hybrid IT platform, some of which is public Cloud, some of which is private Cloud, on premise, off premise, there will services wrapped around that and service providers of different types managing those platforms for customers," he said.
"We going to see quite a big shift in how IT is delivered over the next three to five years and the shift has started already.
He said HP was clearly the major provider of IT infrastructure.
"We need to be part of that shift and that's why we are investing heavily in all of the technologies like Helion, like OneView, like SDN, and so on that are going to provide the architecture and the software framework to enable that vision," he said.
"We are working very closely with service providers to make sure we understand how those environments need to evolve to support their business model.
"We are already the biggest provider of IT infrastructure to the SaaS providers in the world today.
"We are just really making sure to stay very close and active to those companies so that they can help build that vision out."
New business requirements to stand up apps quickly and to get on board with mobile technologies is pushing resellers towards line of business purchasers as they attempt to solve business problems.
Hyde said HP was trying to enable our partners to have more business conversations, rather than IT technology conversations and a lot of those business level conversations needed to happen with the line of business.
"It's about their requirement to stand new web apps up quickly, to get customers on board with new mobile technologies, location aware services and all of this stuff which the line of business is very interested in, but then we need to make sure the IT conversation is happening in parallel, so that the platform doesn't become a bottleneck or an obstacle to standing up those new types of apps as quickly as the business wants," he said.
"We're trying to enable our partners to have both of those conversations."
The imminent break up of the company is something Hyde is excited about any he doesn't anticipate any significant impact on channel partners.
"I haven't heard anything negative back from the channel on it," he said.
"We have done a lot to just communicate with the channel our plans where we are up to.
"I think the channel understands the rationale of why we are doing it. It's good for them, it's good for us and it will be good for the customer.
"The main thing is we are optimistic... the business is growing we are taking share so it's going to be an exciting year ahead for the ecosystem."