Sometimes, no change is goodMarch 3rd, 2009 by Heather Clancy
Fundamentally speaking, most execs think they have two choices when they take on a new job: They can either embrace and extend a winning strategy or they can choose to make their own mark. I personally don’t think those choices are mutually exclusive. One of the most disciplined, intelligent paths an incoming leader can take is to stick with something that is working.
This seems to be the intention of Meaghan Kelly, the months-old vice president of SMB Channel Sales and Strategy for Hewlett-Packard. As I know very well from my past life as an editor at Computer Reseller News, there are thousands of solution providers out there with an opinion about HP’s SMB intentions, and there are at least hundreds who would express that opinion very loudly if things were changed simply for the sake of change. You’ll hear more about the company’s specific new plans this (HP has a briefing planned that several of my friends in the channel media will cover, but that info is confidential for another couple of days). Suffice to say that what you hear will seem familiar. That’s because even though Kelly is actually very new to HP (she joined the company very recently after 16 years of experience with Quantum, Veritas and Motorola), you’ll see her emphasize these three themes:
- Increasing HP’s coverage to market through distributors and high-growth resellers that can add profitable growth.
- Growing HP’s depth of market share with high-growth resellers across all its product categories, which is another familiar mantra. HP absolutely will attempt to drive the point home for both customers and VARs that standardizing across a series of IT products from the same manufacturer rather than buying piecemeal from best-of-breed players is the most cost-effective way to go, especially for customer support.
- Driving more market visibility for its SMB partners, especially in what she sees as several recession-proof sectors including healthcare, the legal profession (warning, stay away from real estate lawyers!), and discrete and wholesale manufacturing.
My guess is that many channel managers and sales leaders are tempted to change course right now because of the economy. Maybe a better tack to take would be to look at what has been working and invest more time there?
We’ll see what else HP has to say later this week.