"They are very different strategies and only one will be right. We think that will be us."
Those were the words of HPE EMEA channel boss GillesThiebaut as he responded to arch-rival Dell's attempt to undermine HPE's Global Partner Conference with giant Dell and EMC-branded balloons.
Although Dell will obviously beg to differ on who has the superior strategy, Thiebaut is right about one thing: Dell and HP Inc/HPE have never held more contrasting visions of where the industry is heading.
With the two ‘spin mergers' it has done since it split from HP Inc - the latter, of its software business, announced only last week - HPE claims it is more focused, nimble and accountable than its arch-rival. Thiebaut claimed that the new slimlined firm is "five years ahead" of the new Dell and EMC.
Michael Dell, in contrast, insisted it is HPE and others that are trailing in Dell's wake as his $59bn takeover of EMC was rubberstamped (see p6 of the latest edition of CRN for more). Dell now has more direct customers and a more powerful channel than any other tech company, he claimed, adding that "scale matters".
"Other strategies others may be considering are going to be more challenging. We feel quite confident in the approach we have taken," he said.
Channel partners must decide which vision - big and powerful, or lean and focused - fits best with their own strategies.
Elsewhere in this week's issue, on p17 we launch our Women in the Channel project, which will culminate in a report on the top 50 females working in the industry.
Also, don't miss our interview with Acer CEO Jason Chen on p12.
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