Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is showing small business server, cloud and IT services partners more love. The latest indication: HP has introduced new Just Right IT partner offerings -- caled ServeIT (small business servers coupled with Exchange, SAP HANA and virtualization) and ServiceIT (technology, financial and cloud services) for its channel partners. The moves come as the technology giant strives to accelerate a corporate turnaround while mending broken fences with the IT channel.

First, a little background: Just Right IT, introduced in 2013, is HP's effort to simplify and strengthen small business partner offerings for VARs, MSPs and IT services providers. The initial 2013 effort included servers, storage and networking. The new ServeIT and ServiceIT offerings reinforce and expand HP's overall SMB partner push.

Simplified Servers: ServeIT

ServeIT leverages so-called "Flex-Bundles" that address VMware, Hyper-V, SAP and Microsoft Exchange opportunities on top of HP ProLiant servers. The SMB server push comes amid growing challenges from cloud computing. IBM is selling its under-performing x86 server business to Lenovo, and Intel recently said server-oriented chip sales are under pressure from cloud services.

Still, HP is the top provider of industry standard servers, notes Lisa Wolfe, leader, HP worldwide small midmarket business, enterprise group. So the new ServeIT offerings offer upside to partners, she said in a chat with The VAR Guy yesterday.

How About Some IT Services?

Meanwhile, ServiceIT allows SMB partners to more effectively leverage HP Technology Services, HP Financial Services and HP cloud services -- including HP's own public cloud plus third-party cloud offerings built atop HP's solutions.

John Flowers, worldwide channel marketing manager at HP, noted that "cash flow remains king" among SMB channel partners, so the IT and financial services should allow partners to build more predictable revenue models.

Bottom Line

By now most readers know the back story: HP burned some partners in the 2011 and 2012 timeframe, taking some enterprise deals direct and forgetting to show SMB channel partners the love they deserve. But more recently, HP has made great strides with enhanced partner programs and leadership changes to help mitigate channel conflict between the company's sales team and channel partners.

In HP's fiscal Q1 ended Oct. 31, 2013, the company delivered improving but mixed revenue and profit results. Read between the lines: CEO Meg Whitman is still hard at work on a turnaround -- but at least she and the channel team are showing partners the attention they deserve.