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HP kerfuffle roils VARs; VCE reorgs topped the news

HP maelstrom and VCE changes capped the list of stories for August 2011.

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s plan to transform itself into a cloud-and-software powerhouse -- and the ensuing uproar over a possible sell-off of its venerable PC business -- caused a huge uproar last month that has yet to subside. The company, an icon among U.S. businesses, struggled to overcome miscues as it announced plans to nuke its light-selling but much-hyped TouchPad and dropped $10 billion to buy Autonomy Software PLC.

The VCE Co.’s decision to reorganize its channel and sales organizations was also a big story for VARs last month.  

Here are the top stories for August 2011.

1: HP partners blast tablet, PC move, Autonomy buy
When Leo Apotheker makes a change, it’s a doozy. Late last month, prompted by news leaks, the HP chairman was forced to disclose (on the HP earnings call) that HP was looking at “alternatives” for its $40-billion-a-year PC business. Such alternatives might include selling it or spinning it off.  The news seemed to shock not only the public but high-profile HP execs as well. HP lost more than $12 billion in market cap the day after the call.

2: Tablets: Going beyond the iPad
Maybe Apotheker should have read this before dumping the TouchPad. contributor John Moore found high interest among VARs and their customers for non-iPad tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy and -- you guessed it -- the HP TouchPad. More proof that HP may have acted too soon: Best Buy and other outlets sold out of the remaining TouchPads in record time after HP announced a $99 fire sale.

3: VCE reorgs channel sales
Several VCE partners started worrying this summer that the VCE Co., purveyor of Vblock, was backing off its channel commitments. The partners cited cancelled meetings and conference calls and unreturned email. It turns out that VCE was reorganizing its channel and sales organizations along geographic lines. Oh, and there were also a few layoffs. The VCE Co. was founded by EMC, Cisco and VMware.

4: As hardware biz shrinks, VARs build out cloud management services
More VARs, including GreenPages Technology Solutions, are diving into cloud management services to help customers manage diverse endpoints and applications. And, it’s not a minute too soon as margins that already eroded on PCs and laptops are now afflicting servers.

5: Microsoft Xbox Kinect may be good for business
Xbox Kinect ain’t just for fun and games anymore. That’s at least according to Microsoft VARs that were intrigued by the possibilities of using the devices for physical therapy, remote manufacturing control and other applications. Kinect lets users control their computers using gestures or body motions instead of keyboards, joysticks or mice.

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