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Simmonds takes channel leadership role at HPE

Vendor chooses to promote from within as it continues to put the right executives in place across a unified sales operation

HPE has shuffled its management pack, building on changes that the vendor started to roll out last September to simplify its channel structure.

For the past five months, HPE has been operating a single sales organisation, bringing together channels & alliances, segment sales and inside sales, under the leadership of Mark Armstrong as UK sales vice-president.

Armstrong remains in that post, but there has been a change in terms of UK channel sales leader, with the vendor choosing to turn to one of its own to fill that role.

Lewis Simmonds will be the name that some in the channel will quickly have to add to their contacts as he steps into a role that will touch partners at every level.

The vendor’s top partners will already be aware of Simmonds – for the best part of three years, he has been UK & Ireland platinum and strategic channel manager at HPE. His CV also includes time at HP as an inside sales channel manager and as an indirect sales manager in the enterprise group.

“At HPE, developing effective leaders who enable the growth and progression of our teams is embedded in our culture,” said a company statement. “Demonstrating HPE’s commitment to promote talent from within, from 14 February, Lewis Simmonds will take on the role of UK channel sales leader.

“Lewis’ responsibilities will encompass platinum, gold and silver partners, including both field and inside channel sales teams along with channel storage/HCI specialist teams at HPE. Lewis brings huge experience and connectivity to HPE’s channel, a passion for cultivating a winning culture, and has proven success in developing sales talent.”

HPE is not the only vendor to adapt the structure of its sales organisation to make sure that just a single approach is being taken, with Dell the other notable recent case.

In mid-December, Dell revealed that Bill Scannell would be taking charge of a combined sales organisation that unified enterprise and commercial under one leadership structure.

Speaking at the recent partner kick-off event, Scannell shared the rationale for bringing things under one umbrella. “If you think about the changes we announced last quarter, it was really around our go-to-market,” he said. “So if you think of how Dell was organised a little over three years ago, when Dell and EMC and VMware came together, we had two segments – an enterprise segment and a commercial segment.

“And then, if you think about it by theatre, we had five different theatres around the world. So if I’m a channel partner, I have to deal with different country managers, different theatre managers, different segment managers, in each of those regions.”

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