HP’s latest independent software vendor (ISV) initiatives are helping it build demand for its Integrity servers and other technology and support ISVs breaking into new markets.
HP recently selected three firms from the 150 or so New Zealand members of its Developer and Solution Partner Programme (DSPP) for Elite status, and presented them with awards.
The firms were Total Communications, whose logistics management software JBiz has used in the footwear and apparel industry here; IVistra (which has developed data visualisation applications) and WhereScape, which specialises in data mining and analysis software.
HP’s ISV alliances manager, John McCullough, says it has worked with the three for a number of years on joint collateral, promotion of customer success stories and lead generation.
“For the ISV, association with our branding gives their customers a good feeling about having that major relationship. From our stance we have these people as our advocates when they’re talking in the marketplace about their solution.”
McCullough says HP is trying to sell more Integrity (Itanium 64-bit) servers, and it has given these to some ISVs whose software applications suit that environment.
“Only some are highly memory resonant,” he says. “We can talk about their application and give them a seed machine if they’re interested in porting to Itanium.”
As well as a compelling business case, the ISV must be willing to invest in getting to market to reach Elite status. McCullough says HP usually matches this investment dollar for dollar, but judges each case individually. The ISV can have other strategic partners besides HP.
McCullough says the DSPP’s member mark of about 150 represents a point of consolidation.
“We want to identify who the serious ones are that we should be putting some effort into,” he says.
Total Communications has serious plans to break into Asian markets, says CEO and founder Andrew Faris. The company believes its version of JBiz designed for wholesale businesses may be more popular there than the retail version has been in New Zealand.
“We’d love to get into China. The heads of our development team are Chinese and it makes it very easy to do business there,” Faris says. He says attendance at HP’s next six-monthly partner conference, in Thailand in June, will help him make contacts among resellers and HP personnel.
Faris says JBiz, developed in conjunction with major sporting goods retailer Brittain Wynyard, would suit any company with a similarly complex range of products, such as clothing or car parts.
To identify ISVs with potential for success, McCullough, a 20-year veteran of HP and former account manager for a number of verticals, says networking is important.
He keeps contact with a former HP staff member now at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, who also has a hotdesk at The Icehouse (International Centre for Entrepreneurship), the Auckland University Business School’s SME (small to medium enterprise) incubator.
He says HP is also looking to contact ISVs from among Microsoft’s partner programme who don’t already partner with HP.
In the SME space, it will continue to work with its distributors on provision of equipment to ISVs. Earlier this year, HP ran ISV workshops on Windows 2003 and SQL2005. McCullough says another six to eight ISVs are “bubbling away in behind” the three already identified as Elite, and HP hopes to give the same recognition to three to four firms each year from now on.