Meg Whitman: HP leadership actively discouraging direct sales

HP CEO, Meg Whitman, told her company’s Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas yesterday that she was fundamentally refocussing up the way the company sells its products.

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HP CEO, Meg Whitman, told her company’s Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas yesterday that she was fundamentally refocussing up the way the company sells its products.

"We now have a very clear policy about taking our business through channel," she said adding that a direct sales strategy is actively discouraged at the company's new leadership. "That will simply be not be tolerated," she said.

The HP CEO promised a focus on the "new style of IT" and the the way business and consumers use Cloud, big data, mobility. "We are excited about the future...we are living in a period of tectonic change in how technology is consumed, delivered and paid for - this happens every 10-15 years," she said.

Whitman said 2013 will be a transitional year. "We are on a journey to turn HP around, it won't be overnight ... we know what needs to get done," she said.

She promised HP would invest in making its partner programs more profitable and innovative, along side investments the company will make in its own R&D and internal systems, she said.

"Many of you have been partners for decades. We were literally built by our channel partners," she said. "The last couple of years have not been easy - we have had some missteps, and seen a lot of change at HP but we are making," she said.

Whitman’s keynote described how the company has been actively boosting its relationship with channel partners in the last year, creating partner advisory boards, and implementing changes as a result of an extensive partner survey.

Feedback from a recent partner survey highlighted a feeling that HP had too many programs, that were sometimes too complex, and often unpredictable, she said. The company's PartnerOne program is aimed at reducing some of these complexities by ultimately consolidating its channel programs into one. That will also provide consistency, and predictability to partner compensation, which will also remove barriers to rebates, making it possible to make money from the first sale, and removing caps on profitability, she said.

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