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Whitman acknowledges HP 'missteps,' resounds commitment to channel

2013 will be a year of turning around HP and addressing the challenges the company has faced in the past few years, HP CEO, Meg Whitman, said in her keynote speech at HP's Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas.

"We are on a journey to turn HP around, it won't be overnight...we know what needs to get done," she said.

Mobility a godsend and a nightmare

She reiterated the company's commitment to the channel, which she said will be key to helping the company's strategy. HP will make investments in making its partner programs more profitable and innovative, along side investments the company will make in its own R&D and internal systems, she said.

"Many of you have been partners for decades. We were literally built by our channel partners," she said. "The last couple of years have not been easy - we have had some missteps, and seen a lot of change at HP but we are making progress and thank you for being a great partner," she said addressing the company's channel partners.

Among the top priorities for the company is to have an increased focus on the channel, Whitman said, adding that the company has been actively boosting its relationship with channel partners in the last year, creating partner advisory boards, and implementing changes as a result of an extensive partner survey.

The feedback the company received from a recent partner survey was that it had too many programs, that were sometimes too complex, and often unpredictable, she said. The company's PartnerOne program is aimed at reducing some of these complexities by ultimately consolidating its channel programs into one. That will also provide consistency, and predictability to partner compensation, which will also remove barriers to rebates, making it possible to make money from the first sale, and removing caps on profitability, she said.

"We now have a very clear policy about taking our business through channel," she said adding that a strategy to have direct sales is actively discouraged at the company's new leadership.

"That will simply be not be tolerated," she said about the company's intentions with direct sales.

HP's corporate strategy is to focus on provide solutions for the "new style of IT" and the related tectonic shifts in the way business and consumers use IT with trends in Cloud, big data, mobility.

"We are excited about the future...we are living in a period of tectonic change in how technology is consumed, delivered and paid for - this happens every 10-15 years," she said.

More to come


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