Splitting the business could deliver channel simplicity

Moves by HP and Symantec to split their operations could make life easier for channel partners looking for greater simplicity

One of the most quoted refrains from vendors in the past couple of years has been to make it simpler for resellers to interact with them and as a result a great deal of effort has been made to improve portals and partner programmes.

The problem of complexity is even greater for the largest IT vendors and they are usually the ones that also have the most diverse product portfolios and services

Ironically the recent moves by HP and Symantec to split their operations could provide an answer to the simplicity question and inspire some of the other large
vendors, EMC is another one that has been suggested, to make similar moves.

“From the perspective of HP and Symantec’s channel partners, big is not always better. It often means ‘complex’, ‘difficult-to-navigate’ and ‘slow-to-respond’. So
while the channel will undoubtedly have initial concerns about the impact on day-to-day business, these break-ups could prove very beneficial to the channel. HP and
Symantec may well return to their areas of specialisation and offer the focused support and simpler programmes the channel has been asking for," said Intermedia's
marketing di rector Jarmila Yu.

For now it will be very much business as usual for the channels of HP and Symantec but as the split gets nearer the firms are being urged to treat their
distribution and reseller partners with the same consideration they will give to their own staff.

"As the vendors break up, it’s vital that they support not only their internal staff through the transition but also their channel partners. After all, their
channel partners have invested in the relationship, and that investment needs to be respected. These days, channel partners are in control and are increasingly
selective about who they trust to work with," added Yu.

According to reports the prospects of HP buying EMC have now ended and the pressure, which is coming from some outspoken investors, for the storage giant to break-
up will now become a more pressing issue.

The HP and symantec splits will be introduced next year and both vendors have strong channels that will need to be transitioned over to the new approach they are
both going to take in the future.

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