Channel strategy key to HP New Zealand's merged future

Hewlett-Packard is still in the throes of finalising its channel strategy and the team to deliver it, but personal solutions group boss Barry Hastings says HP will continue to rely heavily on the channel here in New Zealand.

Hewlett-Packard is still in the throes of finalising its channel strategy and the team to deliver it, but personal solutions group boss Barry Hastings says HP will continue to rely heavily on the channel here in New Zealand.

"Certainly at this stage channel strategy is not finalised. We've got a channel principals meeting at the end of this month to see where we go with these areas."

Hastings says Hewlett-Packard New Zealand typically sells around 95% of its product mix through the channel and that is far higher than the Australian arm of the company. HP Australia has plans to increase its direct sales from 10% to 15% of its total business, according to reports in Australian media.

"I would suggest the channel in New Zealand is as strong as anywhere else in the world."

Hastings, previously head of HP New Zealand, now runs two of HP's key areas. "The most important priority for me with the PSG [personal systems group] and the IPG [imaging and print group] is to get the structure finalised and then look at our overall channel strategy."

Hewlett-Packard is busy integrating its two companies, HP and Compaq, following the May 7 merger and part of Hastings role will be to coordinate the dual distributor and reseller lines he now has.

"We're going to be talking about their business and our business and how it works with channel partners who previously had Compaq or HP."

Hastings says he will be discussing with several partners whether they will be "HP only" in the future.

"I look at the products we bring to market and I have to ask why would a channel partner need anyone else?" says Hastings, only partly joking.

Making life easier for Hastings is the overlap between HP and Compaq channel partners. Both used Tech Pacific as distributor and had the same reseller and integration partners as well. HP has also appointed newly formed distributor eXeed New Zealand, run by former HP executive Andrew Bain. Another former HP high flier, Justin Tye, has been appointed as sales manager. EXeed only sells HP products.

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