“We have trans­formed our Chan­nel Pro­gram”

In a can­did in­ter­ac­tion with the DQ Chan­nels, Neeraj Sharma, Vice Pres­i­dent, In­di­rect Sales, En­ter­prise Group Asia Pa­cific & Ja­pan talks about the re­align­ment of the chan­nel strat­egy of the new Hewlett Packard En­ter­prise (HPE) af­ter the split from HP

DQ Channels - - Vendor Speak - PRIYANKA PUGAOKAR (priyankapu@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in)

HP’s split into two for­tune 50 com­pa­nies was the ma­jor high­light of the year. What is the im­pact of for­ma­tion of Hewlett Packard En­ter­prise (HPE) on the en­ter­prise busi­ness?

Neeraj Sharma: As we have be­come the new Hewlett Packard En­ter­prise (HPE), we are chang­ing the way we work with our Mar­ket De­vel­op­ment Fund (MDF). The first thing we have done six months ago was that we au­to­mated our chan­nel pro­gram. Trans­for­ma­tion is very big for us and as our or­ga­ni­za­tion has trans­formed, we are trans­form­ing our chan­nel pro­gram as well with a great fo­cus on part­ner com­pen­sa­tion. We have done a mas­sive amount of work in trans­form­ing our Part­ner-One pro­gram which will now be called as a HPE Part­ner Ready pro­gram.

We be­lieve that com­pen­sa­tion is very im­por­tant and core to the heart of the part­ner. So we have sim­pli­fied our com­pen­sa­tion pro­gram. We will now pay the part­ners from dol­lar one. If some­body does the busi­ness of one dol­lar, he will get com­pen­sa­tion. That is the beauty of this pro­gram. Our part­ners are very happy with our Part­nerOne strat­egy as they really need not cal­cu­late the money they are go­ing to make. We have got­ten good feed­back for our part­ner com­pen­sa­tion pro­gram from the chan­nel.

What trans­for­ma­tions you have in­tro­duced in your MDF strat­egy?

Neeraj Sharma: What we have re­al­ized with our MDF is that we really need to start plan­ning MDF and we call it as ‘Planned MDF’. In this part­ners can come to us with a plan and we ap­prove the plan. For ex­am­ple, there are huge op­por­tu­ni­ties in the stor­age mar­ket. If the part­ner wants to run a stor­age com­put­ing pro­gram and he comes with a plan, we ap­prove it. On the other side, we have put a com­mon univer­sal por­tal for all our HPE part­ners and all the chan­nel col­lat­er­als and train­ing is avail­able on the por­tal. In­dia is iden­ti­cal to the busi­ness we run in the few sub re­gions in terms of poli­cies and strate­gies we drive. Strate­gi­cally, we drive our pol­icy at the re­gional level and then it goes to the coun­try heads. So from the chan­nel trans­for­ma­tion point of view, I would say that we are ready for the next level of trans­for­ma­tion.

What are the silent fea­tures of your MDF tools and joint busi­ness plan­ning pro­gram?

Neeraj Sharma: We are not only chan­nel peo­ple in the heart but also by lead­ing in terms of hav­ing in­no­va­tion and cut­ting edge tech­nolo­gies. We have a very strong and ro­bust chan­nel ecosys­tem and we have seen very high growth in the en­ter­prise busi­ness in all the re­gions. I be­lieve that the most im­por­tant thing we have done, which is very suc­cess­ful in In­dia and other ge­ogra­phies is the joint busi­ness plan­ning. We started two au­to­mated tools of joint busi­ness plan­ning where we sit down with the part­ners and have a one day ses­sion. We plan our strate­gies with the part­ner CEO and sign the plan along with our part­ner busi­ness man­ager. We re­view it ev­ery three months. I be­lieve that the level of au­to­ma­tion we have got through the joint busi­ness plan­ning, through our MDF tools and through our univer­sal por­tal is tremen­dous. We are now also work­ing with our part­ners to make sure that we drive the growth and op­por­tu­nity in our chan­nel and we want to make sure that we com­pen­sate our part­ner ap­pro­pri­ately. We are making our sales cer­ti­fi­ca­tion fo­cused on trans­for­ma­tion ar­eas. Ear­lier, we used to have 9 sales cer­ti­fi­ca­tions. Now we have moved that into sin­gle sales cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Our pri­or­i­ties are very sim­ple and we want to make sure that we have a prof­itable chan­nel.

The pro­posed Dell-EMC ac­qui­si­tion deal is said to be the direct com­pe­ti­tion to HP’s stor­age busi­ness. How are you gear­ing up to main­tain your lead­ing po­si­tion in the stor­age space?

Neeraj Sharma: There is a mas­sive scale of op­por­tu­ni­ties for us in the stor­age space. We have been re­cently awarded by Gart­ner as best Midrange Ar­ray stor­age port­fo­lio. We have the fasted grow­ing flash ar­ray in the sys­tem and the most im­por­tant thing is that HP’s three power sys­tem is some­thing that has a sin­gle ar­chi­tec­ture across var­i­ous proac­tive and backup re­cov­ery so­lu­tions which is not so in the com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment. So we have mul­ti­ple stor­age ar­chi­tec­ture and op­er­at­ing sys­tems. I be­lieve that we are very uniquely po­si­tioned and we lead in the en­try mar­ket space in the NAS and SAAS space in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion. Our tech­nol­ogy is very strong and the part­ner­ship we have in the chan­nel ecosys­tem is also very strong.

How do you forecast the growth of busi­ness in the en­ter­prise and the com­mer­cial space? What are the other ar­eas of op­por­tu­ni­ties HPE in­tends to fo­cus on?

Neeraj Sharma: In In­dia from a ver­ti­cal point of view tel­cos and bank­ing sec­tor are show­ing good growth for us. The SMB mar­ket is very big for us and it is a grow­ing mar­ket with huge busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties. When we go into mar­kets like SMBs and Com­mer­cial space we do start work­ing with some of the al­liances and ISVs which can help give lo­cal so­lu­tions. I be­lieve that from an op­por­tu­nity point of view, there are op­por­tu­ni­ties that we see in the star­tups on which we are heav­ily fo­cus­ing on.

We also feel that big data, se­cu­rity and mo­bil­ity will be driv­ing a mas­sive trans­for­ma­tion in the in­dus­try. We as HPE are fo­cused on the four trans­for­ma­tion ar­eas and they are hy­brid in­fra­struc­ture, pro­tect­ing dig­i­tal en­ter­prise, en­abling work­places and hav­ing a data driven or­ga­ni­za­tion. Our mo­bil­ity area has ex­panded with so­lu­tions. So the fo­cus is to do sales man­age­ment drive and part­ner man­age­ment drive. We want to make sure that we are cre­at­ing a right sales pitch and right sales ecosys­tem to drive the op­por­tu­ni­ties that we have.

NEERAJ SHARMA, Vice Pres­i­dent, HP

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