New HP Canada Enterprise Chief Stays The Course

Charlie Atkinson, vice president and general manager of HP Canada's Enterprise Group.

Charlie Atkinson, vice president and general manager of HP Canada’s Enterprise Group.

Don’t expect big changes from new HP Canada Enterprise Group boss Charlie Atkinson.

Atkinson, promoted to the role last month as former HP Canada chief Peter Galanis left the subsidiary for a new role at the company, said his priorities include making sure partners fully understand and embrace the company’s “new style of IT” direction and bolstering HP’s cloud offerings in Canada. But he’s not looking at making big changes.

“We’ve just come off a year when we’ve seen nothing but tremendous, balanced growth across the portfolio” in the Enterprise Group in Canada, Atkinson said in a meeting with Canadian channel press at the company’s Discover event in Barcelona. “We have a model that delivered tremendous results in 2013, and I want to ensure we are able to deliver event better results in 2014.”

That growth includes some explosive areas (a 296 percent increase for 3Par as a result of HP’s move to make that storage portfolio a viable player in the midmarket), as well as more established areas that are still growing as well.

The year was also kind to the company’s Canadian partner community. Atkinson reported that in 2013, 82 percent of the company’s enterprise business was done through its partner community, up eight points from 2012 numbers. That figure includes groups like networking (95 percent) and storage (83 percent) that exceed the overall numbers.

“We want to drive our business through our partners and with our partners,” he said. “There a couple of banks and a big telco [that buy direct from HP], but if you take that out, we’re 100 percent channel.”

Atkinson said he has no plans to make changes to the company’s Canadian channel leadership, and in fact, at a pre-Discover event in Barcelona, Canadian channel chief Andrew Eppich was recognized with an award as the top Enterprise Group channel chief in the Americas.

To keep the growth going, Atkinson said HP has to make sure its partners really understand and embrace the company’s “new style of IT” mission and mantra, and are involved with the company’s offerings across the board.

“We’re in a unique position to power the new style of IT, and I don’t think we’ve ever been in a better place,” he said. “Our strategy really enables customers and partners from the desktop to the data center, and we need to make sure partners can tell that story and help our customers.”

If there’s one area where things need to change, in Atkinson’s estimation, it’s the company’s cloud offerings. While HP Canada has built itself a strong position in private cloud development, many of the company’s public cloud offerings are currently U.S.-based or not available in Canada. That lack of HP Canadian cloud solutions need to be fixed, Atkinson suggested.

“Every time a business has a challenge and goes to a cloud service, we risk being disintermediated,” he said. “If we lose those workloads to a U.S.-based cloud service provider, that’s Canadian jobs we lose, and revenues that our Canadian partners don’t make.”