While personal computer business nowadays is not as lucrative as it used to be many years ago, PCs are integral part of the IT eco-system and nothing can be done without them. Not surprising that the decision of HP to either sell-off or spin-off its personal systems group made its partners among value-added resellers, solutions providers and others very unhappy.
The last week's change of chief executive officer at Hewlett-Packard was welcomed by shareholders, analysts, customers and many others, but Meg Whitman's intention not to reconsider the acquisition of U.K.-based Autonomy for $10.3 billion (which is roughly 10 times revenues and 25 times earnings) and to get rid of personal systems group (PSG) made a lot of people nervous.
"Most of us in the channel want to see HP be more competitive with Apple and other device manufacturers that are coming up and taking a lot of our bread and butter business, and HP taking a step in that direction would be a positive," said Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at system builder Nor-Tech, reports CRN web-site.
Many believe that without confidence in the future of HP and PSG, the current partners of the company will start looking for new hardware/software partners in the coming months and eventually HP will simply lose their loyalty.
"I'd give it one to two quarters before you have cause for partners to start looking around to work with another company. I don't think you'll see [partners] abandoning HP, but you will see cause for them to look around for alternatives," said one HP solution provider who didn't want to be named.
Many observers believe that Meg Whitman simply cannot cancel the decisions made by Leo Apotheker overnight and she needs time to review them and either proceed with the plan or change the company's intetions.
"I don’t know if Whitman is the right candidate, but I don’t think she can be any worse than Apotheker, so at this point all we can do is give her a little time to get up to speed and take a swing at things," said Daniel Duffy, chief executive officer of Valley Network Solutions.