'At HP we are integrating a data-led partner ecosystem to further deepen the ties with the channel' - CRN
Vineet Gehani, Senior Director, Consumer Sales, HP India

There is a growing need for brands to create multiple touchpoints for customers in their purchasing decisions. As a customer-focused organisation, HP is creating a balance between offline and online channels through “Parivartan”, an initiative to enhance new age customer experience at brand stores to strengthen omni channel offering. Vineet Gehani, Senior Director, Consumer Sales, HP India in an interview with CRN India talks about the channel initiatives and how the PC and printer brand is creating more opportunities for its channel

How do you see the recovery of the HP channel post pandemic? Can you share 2-3 top learnings for the channel partners?

HP has remained a front runner in maintaining the lead for its PC and printer market in India. The sales in the respective domains have been a result of consistent efforts by its channel partners. HP is and will always be a partner-centric company with a large chunk of our revenue driven through the channel. We believe that the key ingredient for the recovery of HP’s business is through an intersection of company and channel capabilities with customers throughout their buying journeys.

HP moved to higher-value solutions—including cloud, analytics, mobile, and security. What has been the traction so far as this solution selling requires new and deeper skills?

With thousands of successful cloud deployments, HP has helped its clients and customers in getting the best. By incorporating both in-house and externally sourced IT services, clients can pick the right method of delivery to effectively meet time-to-market, availability, and cost requirements. HP’s cloud services are focused – on addressing the recent trend requirement of building a hybrid environment. We intend to leverage the scale, reliability, and security in our current hardware, software, and service offerings and grow them further.

What are the areas where channel is making a big difference, in terms of products and solutions – The channel has to be digitally active and should be able to cater to needs of the consumers knowledge

Channel partners are spread all over the world and offer services to almost all businesses, across different sectors. Both B2C and B2B industries have radically changed over the 2 years thus making it a requisite for the channel partners to transform and deliver unique, digital-first experiences to cement them as dynamic, trusted sellers.

Understanding the expectation of today’s buyers for streamlined, automated, and personalized experiences, in 2020 we introduced HP Amplify, a first-of-its-kind global channel program, built on a single, integrated structure providing the insights, capabilities, and collaboration tools needed to drive digital transformation and growth as consumer buying behaviors continue to evolve.

At HP we are integrating a data-led partner ecosystem to further deepen the ties with the channel. As a result, partners are able to serve customers more seamlessly through automated inventory updates, product returns, and holistic data intelligence.

How do you see the channel alignment and readiness for capturing the digital transformation opportunities

HP is banking upon on digital transformation, data and analytics to support our partners into the new era. The channel program ‘Amplify’ reinvents how we collaborate with partners to collectively advance our customers’ goals and ambitions from the ground to measure and reward partners for a variety of Performance indicators (beyond sales revenue)

Building Digital Excellence through developing the technical and sales skills required to sell, deploy, maintain, and support the different technologies in the HP product portfolio.

Developing Customer Centricity: Customers want a simplified buying journey. To make that a reality, HP and its partners are now working together to know customers better through data analytics to predict market trends and anticipate customer needs – making partners even more customer-centric than before. Our Success will be rooted in a foundation of data and analytics.

Everything-as-a-Service: Customers have been gravitating, and will continue to gravitate, toward service- and consumption-based engagement models. The reason is simple: Services are more agile, and customers need to be nimble in times like these, marked by massive transformation. HP and partners must be adept at selling and maintaining “as-a-service” options as part of their core portfolio, and HP Amplify will enable them.

Value-Added Services: At every touchpoint, partners must look for ways to differentiate themselves and HP from competitors by augmenting solutions and devices with more value. With HP Amplify, partners will deliver more value to customers and, in turn, function as long-term trusted advisors.

How HP ensures there is no conflict between indirect, ecommerce and retail sales and its pricing. Have you made improvements in deal registration?

HP believes in offering all channel partners equal opportunities to promote our products to customers while offering unique omni channel experiences to customers to enhance their purchase experience. HP has the widest network of all channel partners, and all enjoy equal enablers in the form of programs and skill development partnerships. We believe in growing with all channel partners through our mutual and inclusive growth journeys. We take pride in consistently being called out as a- channel-friendly and partner-centric organization and that has been the pillar of the success, we enjoy in the India market

How partners have contributed to the PS and Printer growth story in India. How do you see the evolution of partners when some of the traditional box seller partners migrated to the services business.

HP’s continued efforts in creating an excellent offline and online channel ecosystem to work with the partners and provide seamless customer satisfaction has contributed to HP’s growth. We expect sustained demand for PC from all segments through the year ahead. According to the recent IDC report, HP Inc. continues to lead the overall PC market and maintains its dominance with a share 33.8% and lead of around 14% with its nearest competition in Q1,2022.

The evolution of partner ecosystem is bound to happen with HP’s vision to offer its products as services. In enterprise segment, we are offering Device as a service (DAAS) through our partner and this model is being appreciated by our customers.

Why channel partners are crucial for HP’s next big leap in India. How are you disrupting the printer and PS channel business?

Partners have always been an important part of HP that has helped strengthen its position in the Indian market. The pandemic has forced businesses to innovate and transform significantly toward a digital-first ecosystem to survive and overcome the challenges. Customers are looking at not just experiencing the products but also the buying experience. There is a growing need for brands to create multiple touchpoints for customers in their purchasing decisions.

As a customer-focused organization, HP has products for customers across demographics and different phases of their lives. HP is creating a better balance between our offline and online channels through “Parivartan”, an initiative to enhance new age customer experience at our brand stores to strengthen our omnichannel offering. Several initiatives have been identified across the 5 levers of change including increased footfalls, increase conversion, increase average bill value, and preferred destination to enable the transformation of HP World, the retail stores of HP.

How Indian midsize SIs, ISVs are investing in making workforce and customers ready for the cloud, mobility and analytics opportunities

Indian SI’s, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are advancing the country’s digitalization agenda, helping more and more traditional businesses, especially non-metros, get onto the digital highway.

We also have an HP Independent Software Vendor Program designed to help independent software vendors (ISVs), developers, and system integrators (SIs), create unique solutions. The program provides sales, marketing, and technical resources that enable you to develop, demonstrate, and deploy your solutions using industry-leading HP technologies. We work alongside ISVs to ensure our workstations can be perfectly optimized for workflow.

Companies are bringing together their global systems integrators (SIs), ISVs (independent software vendors), technology partners, together with their channel partners. The idea of bringing it all under one roof is working with resellers and solution-specific SIs.

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