I was unable to attend HP President and CEO Meg Whitman’s keynote presentation Wednesday at the HP Global Partner Conference, but I hear tell she did a great job of addressing her company’s channels.
However, I did attend Monday’s and Tuesday’s presentations, and they were yawners. Most of the sessions were quite bland. That was to be expected from ESSN Chief Dave Donatelli who is a very smart guy but not an animated speaker. However even getting beyond the bland presentations, what stood out was the lack of a real WOW, I GOTTA HEAR THIS moment.
There were a few interesting bits of news. The intro of the new Z1 all-in-one workstation got the press up front for photos and videos, but it’s not a product that reaches to the mainstream HP partner. HP’s new ProLiant Gen8 servers also received interest, as did the new intelligence built into the servers, but there wasn’t that strong ring-the-bell-we-re-gonna-kill-the-competition that I would have expected.
And the message to the VARs on the first two days of conference was … well … I’m still trying to find a nice one-liner. There were messages, but they got buried under a lot of talk.
I even felt sorry for the presenters during Tuesday’s Americas regional meeting. The poor Intel speaker looked as if she were reading her presentation word-for-word off the big-screen displays in front of the stage. There was a fairly interesting panel of HP execs who really didn’t offer any revelations. And to show how exciting the meeting was, not a single VAR took advantage of the multiple microphones scattered in the aisles to ask a question.
HP’s real highlight was Mark Jeffries, a consultant and author who opened and closed all the presentations and was a real gem of an emcee.
Contrast that to the second-day VMware presentations which I also attended on Wednesday. VMware was right on track, hitting the VARs with forceful messages about its strong push into the SMB market with new campaigns and programs and incentives.
It’s unfortunate for HP that it missed a chance to go big.