The announcement that HP intends to sell off its PSG division firmly establishes that the company’s loyalty lies with its shareholders rather than its channel partners. The business is clearly looking for an immediate improvement in margin returns rather than the long-term sustainability of the channel.
If doubt has been cast over the future of HP’s PC business, one wonders if there are further holes in other parts of HP’s business strategy. It’s interesting to note that Google has decided to go in the opposite direction with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, suggesting that it sees devices as integral to development of its cloud business.
Any buyer will have to have deep pockets and an acquisition would most likely appeal to a small number of SME and channel players with aspirations to grow in the corporate market.
Given the recent collapse of its channel business and the departure of its CEO, Acer may well be a candidate. However, this could also lead to renewed fear among resellers already disenfranchised by Acer’s aggressive market approach.
Resellers, some of whom are dependent on HP to support 60% of their business, will undoubtedly be concerned by this news, not least because it throws doubt on the future of HP’s roadmap and support for current customer rollouts.
In the meantime, they will also need to identify alternative single-brand sourcing partners; trusted vendors that can provide hardware, software, services and –most importantly – the expertise required to successfully sell and implement increasingly complex projects in the SME and mid-market sectors.
There are very few players genuinely capable of providing a credible alternative, who are 100% committed to the channel and who won’t go cherry-picking the best bits of business to take direct.