The Partner Ecosystem

Following on from a fantastic 2013 Partner celebration I recently hosted on the River Thames, it was heart-warming to see so many of our HP Software Partners mixing and socialising outside of the working environment.  This got me pondering on our Partner Ecosystems and how we work together.

 

When I think about the word ecosystem, the first thing that springs to mind is the environment and organisms.  However for business, and in particular IT, I recently came across what I believe to be the perfect definition: ‘… network of suppliers, distributors, competitors and customers all work through competition and cooperation to advancesales of products(*).

 

From an HP Software perspective, this is exactly our Channel business model.  However, I would stress that by network it doesn’t just mean that HP Software has lots of individual Partners.  Actually, we have a web of Partners who should work together to fulfil our/their customer requirements.  What I mean by this is we, generally speaking, have Application, Operations, or Security Partners.  But my question is, do partners from either side of the fence actually work together to offer a full Software portfolio?  Should partnering be restricted to a vendor/distributor/reseller or a vendor/reseller relationship around one element of a software (or for that matter, hardware) portfolio?  I think not!

 

Why?  Well, in a world where budgets are decreasing and targets are increasing, being able to leverage and strengthen one’s proposition surely can only help in the need to meet customer demands.  My team and I have been working tirelessly on this very issue in FY13 and moving into FY14, we are continuing our focus to get HP’s infrastructure Partners to understand the value in Software. These partners have broad and deep relationships into their accounts so in theory the HP Software portfolio should be easy attach business for them. In the Uk and Ireland there’s a $3.5Bn software opportunity and including software increases profit margins and grows customer retention.  Whether Partners sell software themselves, or partner with an existing Software Partner is their choice – but it’s a missed opportunity to not do it! 

 

Some of you may have seen or heard about ‘OneHP’; this is our unified message and collaboration with the different areas of HP’s business (Enterprise Group, PPS etc.) to form one story, one solution portfolio.   This is the ecosystem I know and love and it is this that I am encouraging our Software Partner base – along with the hardware Partner base - to embrace.

 

As a call to action from this blog and for 2014, I would like to see a New Year; new friends and new social relationships between partners.  I saw it on the cruise, now let’s move towards a working relationship and see our Partners working together to go to market!

 

(*www.businessdictionary.com)

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