Deeper team
marketing for
the HP 3000
Vicky Symonds finds herself in the first rank of HP 3000 marketing this month. With Worldwide Marketing Manager Roy Breslawski heading for new CSY acquisition Open Skies, Symonds’ job as HP 3000 Product Marketing Manager becomes more important. She directs marketing staff which head up some of CSY’s Solution Teams, while providing marketing support for other teams. During this transition for the 3000’s marketing, Symonds’ work takes on added importance this quarter. Symonds filled the post in a full-time capacity this summer after the job had been staffed half time by Alex Cheng for the last year and a half. It’s easy to see the appointment of Symonds as a dedication to more complete marketing of the HP 3000. Since she reported directly to Breslawski, she will provide continuity in HP 3000 marketing this fall in the transition as CSY busies itself with the Open Skies operation. Symonds guides a good share of the marketing team which Breslawski lauded for the turnabout in the 3000’s fortunes.

She started with HP’s IT department in corporate accounting information systems. Hired out of San Francisco State business school, her first job was to convert SPL code to Pascal as part of the migration to MPE/iX. Symonds was functional lead for a project to put HP’s accounts payable systems on the HP 3000s. A decade later HP is still using MARS to pay its bills. On completion she “wanted to be more involved with customers and business, to get back to some of the reasons I was in business school to begin with.” She joined the HP marketing team as the product manager for Allbase/SQL on Unix, then began guiding the HP 3000 9x7 servers, the Nova line that launched HP’s then-new compact 3000 design. Not long after she entered the world of mass storage at a time when rapid technology introductions and market consolidations created a revolution. She stuck with storage and moved into High Availability, then took on a solution team management role for datacenter management.

Why does CSY need a full-time Product Marketing Manager now?

Alex Cheng was pushing on the airlines as a vertical market, and I think because of that he wasn’t able to do both jobs. He was interested in pursuing that whole new focus of our division, and he wasn’t able to spend as much of his time in the product marketing management position. He’s really been an asset to me in knowing the ropes of the job.

What are the duties of a product marketing manager for the HP 3000?

I lead the team that has responsibility for all the products on the HP 3000. A product manager’s job is to manage a product. On the HP 3000 that’s very based in our solution teams. I have marketing people who are involved in those particular solution teams, in some cases as advisors and in other cases as actual solution team leaders. Those people as a core handle the marketing aspects of their solution team, and I manage the group.

Who’s now handling the New Opportunities Solution Team? Its former leaders have moved away from HP or on to other HP 3000 projects.

I’ve been asked to take on an active involvement in that opportunity. I’m looking to see if there’s someone who’d like to be involved in product marketing for that team.

You came to this job from work on mass storage product management for HP. Where do you believe SSA mass storage systems can fit in HP 3000 solutions?

One space that we have looked at it for is in terms of mid-range arrays. That’s the space where we are currently considering it as an option. Can we do that without going up into the high range of solutions? It’s more of a capacity issue.

We don’t necessarily bless it, but we accept it. We are still evaluating it in terms of our overall solutions, and being careful about not having too much contention within the solutions we’re trying to provide. EMC still maintains, in our opinion, the dominant space in terms of high-end array protection. In no way do we want to jeopardize that relationship. There are still some customers who are looking at SSA, and I think at least it’s important that we look at it to understand whether or not it at least does what it advertises.

One of the most exciting things you’ve got in front of you is rejuvenating the software suppliers for the 3000. What are your thoughts on how to make this happen?

It’s something that [Alliance Development Manager] Kriss Rant has been wanting to do during his role with MPE/iX 6.0, and his interest with the installed base community. We created that position for Kriss, but also because it’s an issue for the platform that has come up on our customer advisory council. Our ISVs want to feel more included in the HP community.

What Kriss will be doing is fleshing out a lot of what it is we’re trying to look at. Alliance Development Manager is a pretty broad title. He’ll be trying to determine what needs to happen, but some of the things that come to mind are moving to IA-64 and what ISVs need to do to make that happen. Another is infrastructure support: What do we need infrastructure-wise to provide support for the ISVs? Thirdly, are there ISVs existing today — or those we don’t have — that we need to grow into more hot vertical markets for the HP 3000?

So are you thinking about finding leads for new verticals the 3000 is not in yet, but match up well with a fast online transaction processor like the 3000?

Exactly. We think there’s something out there, but we don’t know exactly what. Part of what Kriss will be doing is some basic kinds of market segmentation, competitive analysis segmentation — looking at where the core competencies of the 3000 might match with particular ISVs existing today, or possibly in the future we could bring over to the 3000 platform.

HP has wanted people to write software for the 3000 in the past. How do you incent the software suppliers to put more resources into HP 3000 development?

Those are things we need to look at, and Kriss will have to take a look at how we might do that. One of the incentives is the overall strength and reinvigoration of the HP 3000 business. With the kind of growth we’ve been seeing, particularly in the last months, that in itself will be a very compelling reason for ISVs to continue investment in the platform, to move to IA-64.

Technologically in the future, what might happen is that Java might release some dependency on the operating system. That would just totally beg the question.

You’ve proven that paying the ISVs for the ports doesn’t work, right?

The ISV needs to feel compelled to do it. They have to feel that it’s in their best interests. That may have some impact on which ISVs we go after, and which we don’t. SAP maybe was not such a good choice. It may just be that it’s just the smaller- to medium-size ISV that’s the appropriate ISV.

How will you sell the HP 3000 as a solution without software partners the size of SAP or Baan? Will you do as well with partners that aren’t nearly as well known?

I think so. I think that it’s the enthusiasm of those ISVs and us feeling we both have skin in the game — that we both wed our futures together — that it’s going to be those ISVs that feel compelled to grow with us. I’m certainly not going to turn away a Computer Associates or SAP if they want to do business with the HP 3000. We won’t back away from that relationship. Where we’d probably focus is on the mid-range ISV. Again, I’d like to say that Kriss will have to lay out the landscape: where we want to target and who we want to target.

Where else do you want to make an impact in marketing the 3000 aside from software?

All the products and all the various solutions of the 3000 are underneath product marketing. We have the growth solution, which is looking at what the growth needs are into the next millennium. That’s really making sure we have the solutions in place: the performance, the backplanes, the high availability, making sure the limits are removed. The other is looking at some of our other solutions: datacenter management, and high availability.

We’re going to look at what the system management needs are for the next-generation platforms. We’re going to see centralized system management as being an important focus for the next millennium.

I was thinking about that whole high availability and why the 3000 has always been perceived as a high availability platform: it’s robustness and resiliency. I realized the pyramid that we put up — the core of the 3000 in its resiliency and robustness — is the foundation of MPE. That base really does distinguish why we are a high availability solution. Other platforms — and I’m not going to mention which ones — have definitely got the second level up, building the products that allow for rapid recovery. But MPE is a pyramid, not a triangle. Its strength is the resiliency of the operating system.

This is the core value of a proprietary operating system. HP has made a strategic move to recognize this as a company: including MPE, Unix and NT as an inclusive strategy, not a competitive strategy. That’s the real value that’s happened. Part of the growth we are experiencing in the 3000 has been one of HP’s recognition of that, as well as of the customers.

The solution teams that are part of my team now are wrestling with all those issues, trying to capture the momentum bringing out solutions in terms of growth, high availability, system management.

Let’s talk about advertising for a minute. Could HP place 3000 ads in publications aimed at non-IT readers, like Golf Digest or the Wall Street Journal, and be effective in selling the system?

Advertising is not a part of my area.

But you would benefit from where it would be placed?

Probably. We’ve been doing a good job in terms of looking at new publications to put our ads into. That’s been the area that David Green’s old team was looking at. We’ve been seeing a lot of new advertising like the Orange ad in places like Computerworld, Information Week and CIO. We’ve had some discussions about putting them in the focused vertical press as well. I think that’s something, making a bigger presence of HP in something other than our installed base press.

Is getting Oracle8 on the 3000 going to help in marketing the solution?

Image is still our number one database, the one our customers want and gravitate towards. It’s optimized for performance under MPE. It maintains its predominant position on the HP 3000.

Do you have a goal for yourself in this new job, something specific you hope to accomplish?

I would like to build a team that really was enthused, excited about the new growth — for people to feel an ownership in growth and personal commitment and personal excitement about the HP 3000. That everybody on the team feels they contributed to that growth, but they internalize it. That’s what I want.

Vicky Symonds

HP 3000 Product
Marketing Manager

HP Commercial
Systems Division

Copyright 1998, The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved.

Copyright 1998 The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved