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HP Canada’s Enterprise leader outlines 2014 growth strategy

Charles Atkinson is the vice president & GM of HP Canada's Enterprise Group

BARCELONA, SPAIN – Almost lost in the news of Lloyd Bryant’s much deserved ascension to the top of HP Canada was the promotion of Charles Atkinson to vice president and GM of HP Canada’s Enterprise Group.

Atkinson joined HP Canada at the turn of the century and has held a number of sales and leadership roles before getting the nod to run the Enterprise Group in Canada. In the midst of the many announcements made at HP Discover Conference such as Converged Systems, StoreOnce, Vertica and the biggest cloud announcement in the company’s history, Atkinson told CDN that HP Canada has never been in a better place than right now.

“Across the portfolio, we are now in a unique position with this new style of IT and the consumption models are changing to take advantage of the strength of this portfolio to grow tremendously,” Atkinson said.

HP’s product portfolio will also put the channel partners in a position of power, he added. Before taken on his new role at HP Canada, the subsidiary’s Enterprise Group had 74 per cent of its revenue go through the channel. At the close of this calendar year HP Canada increased its channel business to 82 per cent of revenues.

Atkinson’s plan for 2014 in the Enterprise Group is to grow that channel base again. He has a three-pronged plan of attack with the channel: Consistency, Transparency and Predictability.

Atkinson pointed to the growth HP Canada has attained in Gen 8-based servers and in 3Par at close to 300 per cent growth and winning 91 new customers in 2013. “These products were made for the Canadian market-place,” he said.

With this kind of success Atkinson is not interested in making any changes to the Enterprise Group. Going forward Andrew Eppich, who was just awarded Channel Leader for HP Americas, remains the Enterprise Channel Chief as the vice president of partners and channels at HP. Also staying put is John Cammalleri, as vice president of solutions partner organization, Chris Champagne, the business development manager for HP Storage Channels and the rest of the Enterprise Group at HP Canada.

“We are proud that Andrew was rewarded yesterday. And, I’m not interested in making changes in any order of magnitude. We delivered the results in 2013 and we want to do the same for 2014,” he said.

Atkinson’s priorities for 2014 in terms of the channel is to make sure the solution providers understand HP’s new style of IT.

One area of focus is the amount of apps being produced, he said. “The number of apps written and released on a daily basis in the average enterprise we deal with is hundreds if not thousands of apps. It’s in mobile, or big data and the cloud. We need to help them deal with this challenge and with BYOD. I also want to create a new customer experience.”

The strategy for the Enterprise Group starts at the desktop and moves up to the data centre and Atkinson and his team will be tasked to make sure channel partners have the ability to tell that story in the marketplace.

Atkinson also plans to pay close attention to the new Cloud Systems and Cloud OS that was released at the HP Discover conference. The 20 new products that were released by HP enables customers to have a cloud up and running as quickly as if it were attained by any of the major cloud providers in the marketplace.

Atkinson described previous cloud offers as being “agonizing” to deal with. With these new cloud tools from HP, he believes the company has become more agile in the marketplace.

“Every time a business user in Canada needed the cloud, we were not agile or secure enough. We risked being dis-intermediated as they go to a SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS. If we lose those customer to a U.S.-based service its Canadian jobs we lose. This new style of IT with the Converged Systems and Cloud Systems strategy enables them to create their own IaaS and become more reliable and more secure,” he said.