Providers Solution Team
|The Care and
Feeding of Solution Provider Seedlings
HP got serious
about its relationship with HP 3000 application providers this year,
reviving partnerships and forming new target markets. At the center
of the North American renaissance is Narinder Sandhu, the new head of
the HP 3000 division (CSY) Software Partner Solutions Team. Before
his current posting, Sandhu managed the divisions large
accounts escalation solution team, one of the expert centers that CSY
began operating just a few years ago. After a successful meeting this
fall in Dallas with more than 60 partners, Sandhu is leading
CSYs effort to produce a new picture for 3000 applications
within the next nine months. We asked him how his team would be
expanding the universe of applications for a platform that has
survived on partners which couldnt count on HPs help
and what CSY is ready to do to make more applications
What kinds of things will you be able to do for the HP
3000 software suppliers youve identified and engaged with?
There are three areas where we can support an ISV: sales,
marketing and technical solutions. Were really sitting down and
listening to them to find out their needs. The key part is listening,
and aligning ourselves to what they want us to do to make them
What have you found out about what ISVs need?
There were some key technical needs like the GUI front
end. If you look at the portfolio for ISVs, some of them are on
VPlus, and they need to move their software to a new GUI front end.
Some of them have solved that issue, and they need to move to a Web
front end. Theres a range of things.
The other issues
we find are more on the sales and marketing end. Four or five years
ago we let them go and stopped talking to them, and this is key:
re-engaging with them. Some of them have built their own ecosystems
around themselves, their own support structures. We need to do the
same for everything. [CSY Marketing Manager] Christine [Martino] has
given us very clear directions that we need ISV-specific plans.
Well sit down with each of them. Well look at the revenue
potential with them, look at their needs. If there are common needs,
well have common programs for everybody. If they need specific
programs, well have that.
that revenue potential? Are you talking about the revenue
theyll generate in their market, or what kind of an impact you
think you can have on their companys revenue?
Its the potential that we see in each of them.
There are some new ones creeping up, like Joe Geisers
[WebStore/3000]. I am fascinated by that application, and I see a lot
of potential over there. We need to connect with him and help him in
any way to make his business successful, whether he wants to do
business in Australia or over here [in North America].
What about 3000 software companies that dont want to
get any bigger?
We find ourselves wanting to grow our business along with
theirs. If they dont want to [grow], because they want to keep
it stable, then theres some misalignment. Theres only so
many things we can do for this kind of company.
Have you run into anyone whos in a market segment
for the HP 3000 that you had no idea would be another good
We are excited to see some in auto insurance claims.
Theres some partners weve been talking to that have been
in the business for a while and have some huge customers. We see a
lot of potential in that area. Decision Research Corporation in
Hawaii has AIG Marketing as one of their largest customers. AIG
Marketing wants all of their insurance business on the HP 3000.
Its a huge installation, and they run their claim management on
the DRC application.
One of the truisms of businesses is that 20 percent of the
customers generate 80 percent of the business. Does that seem to
apply to the ISV partners that youve contacted, or is it more
You have the strong leaders, and then you have a whole
bunch of people who are more disparate. We are seeing some patches of
some seedlings which we believe could grow into big evergreens, like
the larger ISVs. Over the next few months well find out which
of them have a better potential to grow. It really depends on them
and their strategy and motivation. Our goal is to work with all of
them, because I think one realization within the division is that our
success depends upon their success. We need to make all them
How big of a group of ISVs are you prepared to support at
this level of involvement?
Were not putting a cap on it at this time. With the
kind of change that CSY went through to become customer-focused,
where it became ingrained in all of us, we need to do the same thing
with our ISVs. Everybody in the division should understand what the
ISVs needs are. Our investment should be driven based on
How far is what youre doing in North America
reaching into the 3000s European market? Are you running a
global program, or starting in North America?
Its quite a global program, but in the case of
Europe, theyve really done a good job of understanding the
[ISVs] needs. Theyre very much ahead of us here in North
America. Our role will be to help them with their technical needs.
Were going to play more of a support role for them.
When youre working with solution providers, how is
what youre doing intersecting with the e-services message?
Theres another revenue potential for some of these
ISVs, and well be there along with them to help them generate
this new revenue. [E-services] is really a new revenue model, and
some of these apps have businesses and customers who couldnt
use their applications because of the cost. Were driving the
costs down in this market with this.
Has there been skepticism youve run into as
youve re-engaged with ISVs in the 3000 market?
There are some of the ISVs who have a wait-and-see
attitude, but were going to follow up with them. We need to
make sure we do follow up, and its my responsibility.
Thats why I want my number to be available to them anytime.
Weve pulled all the best marketing and R&D people in the
division on this, so its a really strong team that our ISV
partners can tap into.
Did you create job positions to build this team? Are there
fresh line items in your CSY org chart? Id heard some of your
team members still consult with larger 3000 customers, like State
Yes. Moving legacy applications to the Web is no
different from moving an ISVs application. Its the same
skill set, same knowledge thats needed.
Can you give a
specific example of the kind of technical assistance a vendor might
be able to get if they were being re-engaged?
If somebody wants to run a benchmark for a big sales
deal, we would help them with that. Well have a host from our
team assigned to them to work with the Solution Providers Program to
work on that. Another is just moving an app to a GUI front end.
Telenomics was a good example; with Speedware helping out, the whole
application had a new front end in a week using Autobahn. We created
those linkages. The key is to leverage, because we cannot do
there a role that Java has to play in the renaissance of the small
3000 solution provider?
Some of our ISVs are going to look on Java as their GUI
solution, and they are going to do a complete rewrite based on Java.
It all depends on how much investment they want to do in their
What kind of specific marketing help can you supply?
Success stories getting written for ISVs, where we go to
a contracting company to have them written. Trade shows and user
groups are two key areas; we want to be in every user group of every
ISV and support them on their road shows.
an ISV wanted to raise their profile in this market, how would you
tell them to do it?
They have opportunities of doing mailings, and a number
of software vendors have taken advantage of that. Success stories in
so many channels.
Have you encountered any resistance to getting more
involved in the market because of price points on the hardware?
We are hearing less of that, but there is some. The other
way around that is apps-on-tap. Its an easy entry point for
anybody at low cost. There are a lot more ISVs who want to do that
model than we can handle right now.
Youre making a strong case for being able to listen,
but will the ISVs expect more?
The key thing is following through with them, not just