New HPE Canada channel chief outlines goals

Zack Dickson, director of channels at HPE Canada

Zack Dickson, director of channels at HPE Canada

TORONTO — For the new channel chief at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Canada, the big word for the company’s soon-to-begin fiscal 2018 is “growth.”

John Dathan, new vice president and general manager of HPE Canada, used Synnex’s Canada National Conference here Wednesday to introduce his new channel chief, Zack Dickson, newly-appointed director of channels for Canada.

Dickson told resellers in attendance at SCNC here that the soon-to-end fiscal 2017 has been “a fantastic year” for HPE in Canada, and there are a number of “low-hanging fruit” on which he’s going to focus the efforts of his team in supporting partners around top opportunities.

Top opportunities for Dickson include the company’s forays into furthering the company’s composable IT push with Synergy, which he touted as an opportunity for resellers both in new accounts and in mining existing customers. He also touted the company’s acquisition of Simplivity as evidence of “a big focus on hyper-converged infrastructure.” And finally, he touted the company’s push on “the intelligent edge” as a rapidly-expanding opportunity where the company needs significant support.

“The edge is in hospital beds. It’s in jet engines and on hospital floors,” Dickson told attendees. “There are compute and storage needs everywhere, and we’re looking for partners to get ahead of that curve and serve those new markets.”

Dathan described these plays in hybrid, hyper-converged and intelligent edge as being more sticky and valuable for partners than traditional x86 server sales.

“They help us deliver more for our customers, and help all of us be more successful,” Dathan said.

Moving into his new role from about 18 months running the company’s consulting business in Canada, Dickson acknowledged there’s still work to do, much of which is captured in CEO Meg Whittmann’s HPE Next initiative. Dickson said partners can expect “an intense focus on being easier to do business with,” including a simplification of how it works with partners, with the intention of becoming more efficient and agile. He hinted at similar “tweaks” to the PartnerReady channel program to support those goals and to “remove administrative burden.” And finally, he spoke to the alignment of the company’s own sales field team and partners, empower the field and partners to make decisions together in front of joint customers.

The push for to be easier to do business with is a top goal “for you and for our customers” across HPE’s business in Canada, Dathan said.

Prior to introducing his new channel chief, Dathan, himself also new to his role as general manager of the Canadian business, walked partners in attendance through the changes that have surrounded the company over the last two years, from its emergence as a separate company focused on the enterprise business two Novembers ago, through to its acquisitions, spin-mergers, and more activities since then, which Dathan said have allowed the company to focus on its core goals for enterprise customers — hybrid IT and the intelligent edge primary among them.

He also took partners through the company’s evolving services strategy, which has seen many changes since HPE became independent, including the spinoff of much of its services into what has now become DXC Technology, and the more recent unification of all remaining services under the PointNext brand.

At the same time as the company has redefined its services approach, Dathan told partners that services are more important than ever, especially due to the speed with which customers are looking to change and transform their businesses. Thus, he suggested, the ability of partners to both increase their services game and deliver the new types of services necessary for customers to meet those goals is crucial to the company’s success, and that of its partners.