Resellers are fearful of yet more change over Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) direct sales approach as the vendor admitted it is doing an analysis of its direct and indirect strategies.
Earlier this year CRN revealed the vendor was increasing its direct business, which saw more of its low-end business going direct (CRN, 31 May). At the time it was believed the vendor was drawing up a hit list of 400 customers that it planned to target directly. The vendor also runs what it terms its Hard Deck programme, whereby all accounts above $4m and 1,500 seats are taken direct by the vendor.
One source told CRN last week: “From what we understand, any accounts where a reseller only has limited contact could become a target for HP’s direct sales team.
“HP is always revising its direct model, but we are still unsure as to what its direct strategy will be going into 2006.”
However, HP told CRN that it is simply doing “analysis” on its direct and indirect strategy. Dave Poskett, director, solution partner organisation, at HP, said: “At the moment we are in the process of evolving a strategy that we have been developing for some time. What we have spent time doing is getting a better understanding of our customer base. We will still maintain our Hard Deck approach, and this [analysis] is just a work in progress.”
Dan Hitchen, HP business unit manager at VAR Basilica, said: “There has always been speculation around HP going direct. But HP has a lack of capacity in its salesforce to target everything directly and I don’t think it is going to be open season on channel accounts. I can see how some smaller partners might be a little nervous.”
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