‘Loyalty Pays well with HP in Long Run’

HP India Sales

Ashok Pamidi, Director (Partner Engagement and Telesales, Technology Solutions Group), HP India Sales, in an interview with Kapil Mudholkar, elaborates on channel initiatives and SMB focus. Excerpts…

Please elaborate on your new channel initiatives.

Channel enablement and channel programmes are two key sets of channel initiatives. In the channel enablement, we cover more geographies; and offer training programmes to our partners. As a part of this initiative, we have already covered 43 cities through our partner events. Moreover, we plan to cover 30 more cities this quarter.

Our channel programmes are targeted toward creating end-user demand generation. Here, we have programmes like HPPC programme, HP Certification programmes and Road Runners programme.

The HPPC (HP Presales Partner Community) programme gets into architecting solutions, and covers the entire ESS portfolio; while HP Certification programme aims at improving partners’ pre-sales and closing in deals in enterprise solutions.

On the other hand, we have already trained 33 people under our Road Runners programme, and will train 10 more in this quarter.

All our efforts are targeted toward ensuring partners’ profitability, funding resources and creation of lead generation to facilitate more business opportunities for our partners.

What will be your go-to-market strategy in this slowdown period?

Frankly speaking, we, at HP, do not acknowledge the phenomena of slowdown; however there are deep in the overall purchasing capabilities. We are not getting impacted at any level of business, and we’re seeing the growth in volume servers and storage units.

As far as market strategy is concerned we will be focusing on maintaining transparency in engagement with partners. And we will try to ensure that the flow of leads is maintained, and closure is done on every lead.

Besides, we are seeing the continuous flourishment in mission critical products. According to IDC, we recorded around 9 percent growth in BCS or mission critical platforms. We have also launched Professional Services Partner (PSP) programme. Operational since January 2009, the programme has been designed in consultation with our partner community to provide our hardware specialization partners with an opportunity to deliver HP solution services to customers. By following the HP Services Delivery Model, partners can provide the highest quality of services across all phases of the solution lifecycle. The programme motivates existing and new HP partners to sell more HP products and services.

This is a complete partner-centric model, and promotes upselling. Comprising 20 qualified people and based in Bangalore, it caters to 8-1- large geographies like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.

Please share your views on HP’s foray in SMB segment.

As far as channel is concerned, SMB is a key market for us. And we strongly rely on our partners to cater to this segment. Personally, I always maintained that today’s SMBs are going to emerge as the large corporate in future.

To cater to this segment in much better way, we have launched some specific products. Blades C3000, rx2660 server low end BCS, All in One, HP-LeftHand and EVA storage products are some of the SMB-centric products we have. Additionally, we offer them with a flexibility of scaling up or scaling down the operations as per the requirement. Hence, SMBs can always expect growth with HP.

Are there any plans for channel expansion in near future?

No. Our present network covers all geographies. Rather we are focusing on improving the business of our existing partners. Instead, we will help our partners enhancing their existing skills, and will ensure their profitability.

Will you be adopting new strategy to penetrate deep into upcountry markets?

We have enough penetration in the upcountry markets, and reaching out to 43 cities. We’re compiling our strategies for SMBs and upcountry markets, and we have LeftHand Networks purely for SMBs. In upcountry markets our major thrust lies on the SMB segment. This allows us to focus more on storage and virtualization solutions. Besides, our various channel programmes help us catering and reaching out to these destinations effectively.

Which are your focus verticals now?

Frankly speaking, we are focusing on all segments. However, we are seeing a good demand from communications and entertainment industry along with corporate banks. At present, we are focusing mainly on infrastructure, hospital, education, animation, telecom, govt and PSUs.

Would you like to convey any message to your partners through ChannelTimes?

For us, brand image and profitability is very important. And most importantly, loyalty pays well with HP in the long run. Our efforts will be continue to ensure profitability of our partners, and will always focus on their enablement.

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