HP’s head of channels for Greater Asia has given regional partners the green light to “do now and ask forgiveness later” as the vendor pursues a more aggressive channel strategy.
Gary Hang, who took over the regional channel leadership in November, said HP partners should now feel more “empowered” to react quickly to market changes and customer demand following the vendor’s recent HP Amplify Partner Conference.
Reflecting comments by HP chief commercial officer David McQuarrie, who called on partners to “do it first and then ask for forgiveness later”, Hang said Southeast Asian partners now stand to gain substantially.
“The markets have been given a lot of empowerment so we can act fast,” Hang told Channel Asia. “In Asia, there is so much complexity. If you want to make a decision, you need to act before you lose the opportunity. You need the ability to act and ask for permission later."
Hang, who oversees Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan, as well as A/NZ, said he was now hoping to see a more aggressive approach to business from partners while moving on from the pain points felt during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This year, it’s about how do we build a future-ready organisation, portfolio and people,” he explained. “It’s about moving ahead and forgetting what happened during the pandemic from a supply chain and logistics perspective. There is no constraint right now.
“This conference has been about building the offence. Enrique [Lores, HP CEO] said it very well: we need to be aggressive and react faster and start to take shape.”
At this year’s conference, HP announced its recently acquired subsidiaries, Poly, Teradici and HyperX, would now fall under the Amplify Partner Program.
As part of the program refresh, channel partners will offer a rate multiplier to boost compensation for “qualified partners”, known as More for More, a move which aims to reward partners who sell across the broader portfolio.
In order to help execute this transition in Asia, Hang said he will focus on helping partners build demand in both the small-to-medium-business space and in the enterprise.
“In the commercial space, we want to drive opportunities for the back-to-office movement and hybrid systems,” he said. “There are millions of meeting room opportunities out there. That is good news for the partners. We are trying to put the whole portfolio together: it’s not just ‘do you want a video conference or a headset?’. It’s about the end-to-end ecosystem.”
“In the consumer space, the key trend is around online,” he continued. “We have invested a lot in online capabilities, working with the likes of Lazada and Tokopedia. We will continue to invest and grow our current retail and online partners. We spent a lot of investment here during the pandemic and we think it will continue to grow.
Aside from the Philippines, Hang believes all the ASEAN markets have the potential for explosive online retail growth. However, even though physical shopping still remains strong in the Philippines, Hang believes it is only a “matter of time” before the market catches up.
In terms of the partners' own capabilities, Hang said he would like to see partners continue to boost their skills, especially around solutions and services.
“No customer wants just a purchase outcome – they want a business outcome,” he said. “They want to know why they are buying a product.”
Another challenge for the region is sustainability, one of HP’s key strategic goals for partners through its Amplify Impact program.
“More customers, especially in mature markets, want to know what HP is doing to ensure our responsibility around sustainability,” Hang said. “With HP Amplify Impact, we really do want to focus on that.
“In Southeast Asian markets where language is a barrier, the sustainability message takes more time. In Vietnam at the moment, the focus is more on commercial benefit than the planet.”