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HP grabs global senior veep Barsamian to run security biz

Location of current incumbent unknown... Anyone seen Art Gilliland lately?

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HP has called on channel sales veteran Sue Barsamian to take charge of the enterprise security products unit in the software division amid the breakup of the corporation.

In a memo to staff, seen by us, executive veep for software Robert Youngjohns – Barsamian’s new direct report – and Enterprise Group (EG) executive veep Antonio Neri confirmed the shuffling of chairs.

“Security is an area of tremendous importance and focus for our company, and is at the heart of one of the four Transformation Areas for Hewlett Packard Enterprise,” stated the pair.

The others include mobility, the cloud and big data, so much the same as IBM et al.

Barsamian, who spent the previous two years as overlord of worldwide indirect sales for EG, knows the channel well, and will need to draw upon that experience to finally pull in more partners to sell software.

She starts as senior veep for Enterprise Security Products, replacing Art Gilliland, an exec who joined HP in July 2012 from Symantec. It is not yet clear if he has left the organisation or is moving to another post. We have asked HP this question and are awaiting a response.

His LinkedIn profile - for what it's worth - states that he remains the security big cheese at HP.

“Sue will have responsibility for the overall go-to-market strategy for ESP, as well as delivery of the products and services that help our customers manage risk and protect their business,” the memo confirmed.

A source close to the company told us security services will remain one of the seven practises in the Enterprise Services division. Barsamian will continue to lead worldwide channel sales for EG “during the transition” as one HP becomes two, the company confirmed in the missive.

“The channel is absolutely critical to our business, and our commitment to the partner ecosystem at HP has never been stronger. Sue will therefore act as head of both groups,” stated the memo.

HP did not break out security sales in Q2 (ended April) of its fiscal ’15, but revealed software, where the products sit, declined eight per cent year-on-year to $892m as profit before tax slipped to $160m from $186m.

In a conference call, CEO Meg Whitman said software had had a "challenging quarter" but called out double digit growth in SaaS bookings, in part driven by enterprise security.

Whitman warned Wall Street types of "continued pressure on the top line as we evolve our product portfolio and go-to-market efforts towards SaaS and subscription-based offerings."

From this month, HP split operationally into two separate companies with the PC and print business forming HP Inc and the remainder falling under the control of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. HP stopped shipping kit worldwide from the start of August as it started the system switchover and began again on 7 August.

Partners reported no lasting problems, with HP working quickly to identify issues and address them. The split, so far, seems to have worked as smoothly as can be expected.

It seems all the months of preparation including the Partner Navigator programme, which we exclusively revealed, has worked out well. Perhaps even better than HP expected. ®

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