Hewlett-Packard Executive VP Ann Livermore and peer HP executives shared their enterprise and cloud partner vision this morning at the HP Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas. Listen closely and HP is attempting to crank up the competitive pressure vs. Oracle and Cisco Systems. In Fact, HP claims to have recruited the top 25 channel partners from IBM, Cisco and Sun in the past year. Here's the update.

Among the keynote highlights from this morning:

1. Channel Engagement: HP partners sell about three servers per minute; partners drive more than 50 percent of HP's networking revenue; 60 percent of HP software deals are influenced by partners, and partners actually drive about 40 percent of HP's software sales. Plus, partners drive 500,000 warranty and service events annually.

2. Challenges Ahead: Livermore described an Instant On enterprise and cloud strategy. But she said challenges involve aging applcations, rigid infrastructure, unknown threats, the information explosion, plus custom built hardware and software.

3. Solutions Ahead: Livermore said HP will address those challenges via application transformation, converged infrastructure, enterprise security, information optimization and hybrid delivery.

4. Targeting Cisco: Livermore said she's very confident in HP's servers, storage, networking, organic and M&A product portfolios. "We're causing our competition a bit of pain," Livermore added, in a subtle dig aimed at Cisco.

5. The CloudSystem: HP spent a lot of time describing a so-called HP CloudSystem, which is a "complete, open, integrated system." It includes the following components (click on picture to enlarge):

6. Targeting Oracle: HP once again attacked Oracle's decision to drop Itanium-related software development. HP called the move "anti-competitive behavior," urging channel partners to tell Oracle to reverse the decision. HP alleged that Oracle dropped Itanium because Oracle's own Sun server business is shrinking. HP claims to control 26 percent of the Unix market, with Oracle-Sun recently dropping to the #3 spot.

7. We're Number Six: HP noted that the company is the sixth-largest software company in the world. HP conceded that #6 isn't good enough, but it gives HP and partners a great footprint from which to grow. HP noted that 88 percent of channel partners have not sold an HP software license. To improve the situation, HP announced the following software investment strategy (click on picture to enlarge):

8. Magic Numbers?: HP claims to have recruited the top 25 channel partners from IBM, Cisco and Sun in the past year... Hmmm... The VAR Guy wonders if those partners have really shifted from the competition to HP, or if the partners are merely testing the HP waters...

9. What's Next?: HP plans to announce a new channel program in its fiscal Q3 2011. And the rollout will take roughly a year, HP executives said. The goal is to give partners a consistent, simplified approach to engaging HP.

Bigger Picture

Overall, HP Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco has done a solid job articulating HP's channel strategy. But The VAR Guy has some lingering questions about HP's cloud partner strategy. Coverage from HP Americas Partner Conference continues across The VAR Guy, MSPmentor and TalkinCloud.

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