Because I'm such an all-around altruistic boss, I sent our Gord on the recent HP reseller beano to Las Vegas. (Also, Her Indoors said she would have the divorce papers ready and waiting if I even thought about getting on that plane.)
I was shocked to find that when he returned to Dodgi Towers, my usually aloof, cynical right-hand man was gushing like a lovesick schoolboy over HP chief exec Meg Whitman. Speaking to other VARs, it seems Gord's not the only one, as resellers everywhere fall for her charms in a big way.
Though I'm not aware of any who have gone as far as one chap did in a partner Q&A at the event. This fella - who, I should point out, is of the American persuasion - took the mic and, rather than ask a question, set out on a slightly nauseating soliloquy.
"Customers and staff used to ask me about Léo Apotheker. Unfortunately, what I told them turned out to be correct," he said.
He neglected to mention exactly what he told them, but I think he said that the
former boss was making cash on the side moonlighting as a Norris from Coronation Street/Great Soprendo impersonator.
He then detailed at length why Whitman is so great (it seems she let him call her Meg, her first name! - imagine that).
"So now when I go home and they ask me what I think," he concluded, "I'll be happy to say... MEG ROCKS!!!"
Unfortunately, the technicolour yawn called Gord away, so I've no idea what question this guy eventually asked.
"Do you want to use my tongue as a shoe buffer?", perhaps?
Search and destroy
The all-out Meg Madness was not the only curio at the reseller shindig, with the top banana herself creating a slightly awkward moment on stage.
Autonomy joined the HP family last year, presenting its new owner's incoming chief with a massive hole in her skyrocket and something of a quandary about what a tin vendor might do with $12bn worth of niche software. Four months later, and Autonomy chief Mike Lynch was wowing the crowds in Vegas with his way-cool technology, and the promise that this will be a channel play.
At the end his speech, Magic Meg led the warm and appreciative salutations.
Before adding: "We'll talk about how much we paid for you later, Mike."
Lynch may be an expert in the search field, but apparently he looked as if he was struggling to find the right words and facial expressions at that moment.
Having been to many a partner conference, our Gord has got used to the same quasi-uplifting pop bangers preceding seemingly every channel event ever.
There's Right Here, Right Now (tolerable), Elevation (the wrong side of borderline) and that Black-Eyed Peas abomination (lord, help us). So he was pleasantly surprised to see HP had splashed out on a soul band, fronted by a funk dandy in the Cee Lo Green mould. As the combo launched into the Curtis Mayfield classic Move On Up, my man was so pleased he actually momentarily considered dancing.
Alas, when the singer got to the chorus, he swapped the lyric sheet for the keynote speaker's mission statement.
"Multiply the sales! Multiply the opportunities!" he sang.
The original may have been an uplifting paean to equality and emancipation, written in an era of social and political upheaval. But I'm sure Mr Mayfield sees the synergies between that and selling a few more servers.
Our Gord also blagged his way into a press briefing and was bemused to hear PSG boss Todd Bradley's version of the will they/won't they HP-exiting-the-PC-market saga that dominated the industry last summer. The exec took the opportunity to blame the media for spreading confusion and misinformation.
Fair enough, I suppose. But once the chief exec of the world's biggest PC vendor says "we're exiting the PC market", there's only so much more confusion you can create.
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View photos of last night's awards ceremony in London
View photos of all the winners from the 2018 Channel Awards
After a glittering awards evening in Battersea celebrating 25 years of the Awards, we are pleased to share the list of winners and judges' commended winners