Continuing the three-month saga, HP partners were still unhappy with the company’s indecisiveness on its PC division in October. Also in October, there were some partners who have been finding success offering public customers open source solutions instead of SharePoint. In addition to those stories, electronic waste service opportunities was a popular topic among SearchITChannel.com readers.
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Though Hewlett-Packard ended up holding onto its PC business, the way it handled the PC decision irked its partners. HP maintained that it was still considering all of its options up until the end of October and left partners wishing the $40.1 billion business wasn’t in limbo. Partners continued to offer customers PCs because HP made declarations that warranties and products would still be valid and include technical support.
2. Solutions providers see demand for SharePoint alternatives
Solution providers are taking a long look at options beyond SharePoint for customers and, so far, they like what they see. Often because of price, open source offerings are gaining traction in the channel, especially with government and education customers. With reduced license fees that include installation, configuration and customization, open source alternatives can offer a lower total cost of ownership. Features such as social networking also factor into decisions because SharePoint’s wikis and blogs aren’t as strong as some open source offerings.
3. IT solution providers look for electronic waste management opportunities
Electronic waste (e-waste) services are quickly becoming something that both solution providers and their customers need to consider. For VARs, it’s a chance for a strong value-add, and for customers, managing end-of-life equipment properly is something the government is keeping a close eye on. By proving they can handle data destruction services, VARs can win customer trust and deals.
4. New HP PartnerOne MDF and service opportunities appeal to VARs
To Hewlett-Packard partners going from “Elite” to “specialized,” names and titles aren’t as important as the new MDF and service opportunities that HP will provide for them. In 2012, they will have access to a new program called Marketing Depot, which will give partners more marketing funds and tools. Partners are happy with these changes because they think HP is recognizing individual success.
5. Disaster recovery applications drive SMB virtualization adoption
Not surprisingly, server virtualization is still growing with small and medium-sized businesses. But channel partners are now employing it in disaster recovery solutions and as a management tool. Having data on virtual servers instead of on tape makes it easier for VARs to recover and manage it. They can also sell customers on the idea that virtual servers are not just cost effective, but also make life easier in the event of data loss.