Products Take Center Stage at HP Global Partner Conference

In a series of morning keynotes, HP executives try to stoke up partner enthusiasm for the company’s latest hardware, software, and services. By Rich Freeman

If the goal of yesterday's keynotes at the HP Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas was to keep the channel excited about partnering with HP, the objective of today's presentations was to get attendees pumped up about the products they'll be selling in the months ahead.

"I want you to be completely confident that not only is the industry changing but HP is leading that change," said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager of HP's Enterprise Group.

Donatelli went on to tout HP's latest server, storage, and networking systems, including the company's new Project Moonshot microservers, which are designed to consume 89 percent less energy and occupy 94 percent less space than conventional servers, enabling companies to pack 10 racks worth of compute power into one. "Over time, this will become the dominant form of computing in the world, and you're right here at the beginning," Donatelli told his audience.

Partners interested in more immediate opportunities should take a look at HP's 3PAR storage systems, Donatelli continued. "We are building a ton of these," he said. "It's been the fastest-selling product we've launched in at least 10 years."

HP has high hopes as well for the two latest additions to its virtualization-oriented StoreVirtual product line, which were formally launched yesterday. Targeted at midsize businesses and available as either physical appliances or software-based virtual ones, the StoreVirtual 4530 and 4730 both feature 10 times more memory and four times more cache than previous StoreVirtual generations, along with native 10 gigabit iSCSI connectivity.

Both products are based on HP ProLiant Gen8 server technology too, which should make selling them easier for partners, according to Craig Nunes, vice president of marketing in HP's storage group. "They don't have to retool themselves on a hardware platform that they're not familiar with," Nunes observed in an interview with ChannelPro-SMB.

Also announced yesterday was a new product bundle for companies with Bring Your Own Device policies. Built atop a software-defined network, the new solution features a software-defined security appliance plus integrated switching hardware and management tools.

"[Software-defined networking] is the biggest change in networking that has occurred in 20 years," Donatelli said during today's keynote. "We have by far the most complete SDN solution in the marketplace.”

COOL GEAR
Tom Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) group, used his time on stage to showcase sleek tablets, notebooks, and convertibles from HP's Envy, EliteBook, and ElitePad families. "We're driving a lot of innovation in the way our products look and feel," he said.

Bradley also highlighted HP's Officejet Pro X series of color inkjet printers, which are designed to offer twice the speed of comparable laser printers at half the cost. Available at SMB-friendly prices starting at $449, Officejet Pro X devices print at up to 70 pages per minute.

"The opportunity to sell ink in the office is new and unprecedented and a phenomenal way for you to grow your businesses," Bradley said.

George Kadifa, executive vice president and general manager of HP's software unit, acknowledged during his keynote that his group lags behind PPS and the Enterprise Group when it comes to routing sales through partners, but said that rectifying that fact is one of his team's top priorities. HP aspires to collect 70 percent of its IT management and cloud software revenue and 50 percent of its security and big data software revenue through partners by the end of this year.

"We would like you to see HP software as the third arrow in your quiver," Kadifa stated, along with the company's PCs and infrastructure solutions.

As all three of this morning's keynotes made clear, however, what HP would really like is for partners to look past the tumult surrounding HP in recent years and get back to the serious business of selling HP products and services.