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Relationships. Do they work in the hi-tech industry?


By Steven Fleischman


I’m a huge fan of comedy, and it’s not difficult to spot a great comedy duo when you see one. Just think back to some of the greatest duos of all time: Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello, I Love Lucy with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, and the list goes on. Did you ever wonder what these teams would be like if the cast wasn’t the same?


Ilovelucy.jpgOne of my favorite comedies is I Love Lucy. What makes this show truly remarkable for me is that it wasn’t supposed to have the cast that we’ve come to love. In fact, the only original cast member was Lucille Ball. Everyone else was supposed to be different: My Favorite Husband radio co-star Richard Denning as Ricky, Gale Gordon as Fred, and Bea Benaderet as Ethel. And Lucille waited for years to do the show with her real life husband Desi Arnaz before CBS finally gave the go ahead. Imagine that show with the original lineup. It may have been okay, but it wouldn’t have been I Love Lucy.


Alliances – the vehicle for success
In business, there’s nothing funny about relationships, but just as in I Love Lucy, there needs to be the right cast. As a member of the HP Alliance team, thinking about the cast of I Love Lucy reminds me why the two key partnerships that I’m involved in – Microsoft and SAP – work so well. Just like in I Love Lucy, it’s about chemistry, versatility, and timing. We feed off each other’s success. We collaborate on innovation. And we have joint go-to-market initiatives.
HP, Microsoft, and SAP are all tech giants in their own right. Each of them has their own goals and strategies. But we all recognize and play to our strengths, and that’s why HP partnerships with Microsoft and SAP comprise formidable duos that power the world’s most successful enterprises – both large and small. Without a doubt - in my humble opinion - HP’s alliances with Microsoft and SAP are as good as it gets in the hi-tech industry.
When I explain to ordinary folk or technophobes how it works, I like to use the analogy of a car – we all spend a lot of time in them and know what makes it a great ride so it’s a great analogy easily shared. To have a great ride, you need three things: (1) a powerful, well-designed car; (2) the right fuel; and (3) the right driver. If you don’t have all three, your ride will be mediocre at best.


The car
Good looks and comfort are important for many people when choosing a vehicle. But for me, it’s all about the drive. I want to “feel” the power. On the open road, I want to feel the car stick to the road as I accelerate around a corner without having to slow down. I want to have the confidence that when I downshift or brake, the car will slow and stop based on my expectations, only to readily respond when I floor the pedal once again. My ideal car is one that you can push to the limit, a limit based on the driver’s capabilities, not the car itself.

The fuel
To get the most out of your car you have to use the right fuel. If you’ve ever put gasoline in a diesel by accident – or vice versa - you know what I’m talking about. Engines are designed to use specific types of fuel, and the fuel is designed to take advantage of features of the engine. In the world of racing, the relationship between the quality of the fuel, the octane rating, and the additives has a massive impact on both the performance and the reliability of the engine.


The driver
And in the end, the driver brings it all together. A racing driver is responsible, not only for getting the best out of the car during the race, but also for assisting development of both the car and fuel prior to the start of the race. His input is critical to setting up the car and determining the right fuel to be used based on the track and weather conditions.
With the right car, the right fuel, and the right driver, you get a winning team.


Your winning team
And that’s what you get from all of the hard work done by HP and our partners – a winning team! HP provides your “car” – the vehicle that’s workload-optimized with redefined economics, and our partners provide the “fuel” and “driver” in the form of operating systems and applications that your business depends on. Our engineers collaborate closely to make sure that the servers, operating system, and applications all work together and take advantage of each other’s capabilities to give you the best possible experience. You can’t have one without the other two. You need all three to take your business from “A” to “B”.


At HP, we’ve designed and built a full range of “vehicles” to meet the specific demands of your business. Our operating system partners provide the “fuel” that makes your chosen “vehicle” run. And our application partners provide the “driver” that brings it altogether, providing the features and functionality you need to run your business and realize your desired business outcomes. And like in I Love Lucy, there may be another cast you could join, but you would have a lot of “splaining” to do!


Welcome to the ride
To keep you up-to-date on how HP is working with Microsoft and SAP to give you what your business needs, I’ll be posting a series of informative blogs on our collaborative efforts. SAP’s Sapphire has just finished, last week we were at HP Discover in Las Vegas, and Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is coming up in July. I’ll be bringing you the highlights of what’s announced and the potential impact for your business.


Follow me at @Fleishmantweet to stay up-to-date.


For more information on HP Discover and to catch up on what happened, visit and watch over 80 of the most popular sessions on demand.


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Steven Fleischman is a member of the HP Corporate Strategic Alliances team as a Microsoft and SAP Evangelist. He has been at HP for 10 years in various marketing, business development, and channel program roles working with Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. Steven attended Syracuse University and St. John’s University and has a BS in Marketing with a focus on International Marketing.

About the Author


I thoroughly enjoy writing about HP and the synergies with our Alliance Partners.

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