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By | Paul Kunert 10th June 2011 10:59

HP refuses to resurrect global partner piss-up conference

Why fly to the US when you can get boozed briefed locally

HP has confirmed will not be running a global partner knees-up for the third year running much to chagrin of some in the UK channel who are keen to get a run down of top level strategy, particularly in light of Leo Apotheker's succession to disgraced former CEO Mark Hurd.

Despite rivals and other major vendors reinstating global shindigs for resellers, HP has not hosted one since the spring of 2008 in San Francisco and confirmed it will not this year.

Kevin Matthews, UK and Ireland enterprise server, storage and networking channel manager at HP, told The Reg, "partners value local interaction more…a more intimate and direct engagement with HP UK.

"We run a number of UK events to ensure our partner community hears directly from us in the UK, including six monthly Gold partner events, a quarterly Preferred Partner events, quarterly executive dinners for key resellers and distributors and six monthly service workshops," he said.

However, not all top tier Gold partners are in agreement with one branding HP's policy as "bizarre".

"It is nuts that HP sees no value in bringing partners together on a global scale, they lose out. If you talk to most resellers, the business that has the least visibility of strategy or strategic engagement in the channel is HP," said one.

Another concurred, "I want to hear what the CEO and global leads for each of the business units are doing; their strategy, some direction. Every other major vendor is doing that".

IBM PartnerWorld was revived this year, while Cisco, Microsoft, EMC, Citrix and even Dell have or are holding an annual global partner knees-up.

The power base for US vendors resides across the pond, and though local country operations have some control over decision making, they cannot set the high-level strategic direction of the firm, said another Gold partner.

Not all dealers miss the global events though, "I hate conferences, I don't see how channel execs can afford to spend the best part of a week out of the office to fly to the US, it's never particularly productive. Most of the events I go to show face but I prefer them to be in Europe".

Larger or more strategic partners met with Apotheker in January while head of PSG worldwide Todd Bradley is arriving in the UK next week, but if your names not on the list, you're not getting in. ®

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