08/24/2011 - HP Tries To Rally Partners As Dell, Others Move Aggressively To Take Share

By Steven Burke, CRN - Todd Bradley, the executive vice president of Hewlett-Packard's $42 billion Personal Systems Group, joined other top HP executives Tuesday to try to quell solution provider concerns about the future of PSG and counteract the "FUD" HP claims is being spread by competitors such as Dell.

In a 30-minute conference call attended by more than 1,800 HP partners from the U.S., Canada and Latin American regions, Bradley promised partners "unwavering" support in terms of ongoing marketing and channel initiatives, and urged partners not to fall prey to challengers that are attempting to crack HP's tight partner relationships.

"I’m sure that our friends at not only Dell but people like EMC and Cisco and probably Lexmark are using this opportunity to try to crack the strength of our ecosystem, the strength of our partner relationships," Bradley said

HP will decide on what to do with PSG within eight to 12 weeks, Bradley said. If HP does spin out PSG, that company will be a very aggressive and profitable Fortune 60 company with a world-class management team, Bradley said.

The IT product giant last week shocked many partners by scuttling the TouchPad and revealing its intention to explore a spin-off or sale of PSG.

Taking aim most forcefully at Dell, Bradley declared that HP has "pounded" Dell in the PC business and claimed his competitor lack’s “a vibrant channel."

"Clearly through all of our efforts, through HP’s product efforts, our marketing efforts, frankly through your go-to-market efforts, we’ve pounded [Dell] over the last six years. We’ve pounded them in workstations: We’re now No. 1 in the world, No. 1 in the U.S. We did that through innovation through engineering and through great products," Bradley said.

Bradley said that even if PSG is spun out as a separate company, it would still make a more compelling vendor partner for solution providers than Dell.

"If there’s any response to the FUD, [it's] look at the performance of Dell over the past six years. Look at the quality of their product portfolio, the lack of support, frankly the lack of a vibrant channel. I don’t know what’s going to change about that in the future. PSG’s not going to change. We’ll spin out as a $40-plus billion company committed to the channel and committed to our customers and frankly, committed to growing share profitably. My guess is they’re hoping that this is a challenge and hoping their lack of a solid value proposition will be overcome by this uncertainty in the marketplace today."

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell, mentioned HP in several posts on Twitter in the days following HP's revelation that it is exploring the potential sale or spin-off of PSG.

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