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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HP IPG: Indestructible


I know, I know...somebody filled my beer bong with HP-Blue KoolAid at last week's OPS Elite conference.  I can't see who exactly is holding the funnel up - pretty sure it's not my MES rep.  Could be my PBM. Huh..

The HP OPS Elite resellers. You know these guys. That one-time very exclusive collection of core IPG channel players who jumped through hoops to earn the opportunity of a lifetime - selling Edgelines.

Yeah, that was us - I guess things have changed.

Today, if you are a Global/Xerox dealer and you have a pulse, 'little blue' will authorize you for OPS.

Today, if you have a retail door, hang MpS on a peg board next to the paperclips and white out, kick down a pulse, 'little blue' will authorize you for OPS.

Right, I busted my ass to install 79 Edgelines - all still in the field. Today, 'little blue' doesn't even have the Edgeline SKU in their system. (okay, that might be extreme, but you get my point. TouchPad anyone?)

The propeller heads over in PSG are whining over a little shift? Give me a break. Those of us tied into IPG have been surfing the whirlwind of "scratch your head" logic since the MoPIER.

Remember those?

As easy as it is to throw poop at mother blue, I ain't going to, I'm done.   The last 90 days may be remembered as just another bump in the dark as it appeared mother blue is trying to commit suicide, shooting every foot in sight - this isn't about all that.

HP is the biggest gorilla in the house.  Actually, HP is a great, big, humongous, blue gorilla in your bed.  She can roll over, squish you, and not even lose a wink.  Talk about a 'walk of shame'.

Last year was in Phoenix - this year in Orlando.  Last year the presentations were old-skool and it seemed mother blue couldn't spell 'MpS'.

Well, what a difference a year makes.
HP is in MpS.  Way in.  Multiple flavors inside the channel.  And the channel will grow just not through acquisition like the big X - not that there's anything wrong with that...

The channel is real on both ends of the spectrum. MpS was spoken, real MpS - and the not-so-real MpS.

I saw huge polarity. One side strongly in Stage 1&2, those who have been doing this for "twenty years"(LOL, desk-side ribbon fulfillment, no doubt).

On the other side into Stage 4 and managed services - real, honest-to-goodness managed services; NOC, helpdesk, staff augmentation, mobility.

And where is HP IPG on this?  Both sides, all sides, and most importantly THEIR side.  You would need to have been under a rock not to know that the last 90 days have been HP tumult - the stock falling, product canceling, new CEO kind of tumult.  And there have got to be panic sessions in the trenches and the HP conference rooms all over the world - understandably, IPG should be a bit frazzled.

There was no sign.  No hesitation. IPG is staying the course, doubling down resources and telling us exactly how they intend to rule the MpS-verse.

I pulled four separate "rule the MpS Wolrd " ideas out of the two days.

1. Through mobility - which I think is a big gamble - HP sees prints moving downstream and if they build it(print through the cloud) we will print.

2. Through a leaner, smarter channel.  The OPS Elites will get more training and more options as we progress to the cloud.  If you're into clouds, that is.

3. Through technological innovation.  In printers, no less.  New machines with an embedded print from the cloud and all sorts of customized front ends.  The HP printer app store.

4. On their own. Direct, indirect, retail, on the net, in the clouds - if toner does hit paper, HP will be there, she's just too damn big - Indestructible.

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Greg Walters, Incorporated