Mary Ann Yule is about to complete her first six months as Country Manager of HP Inc. Canada. Yule came to the position at the start of 2016 after 12 years at CDW Canada, CDN’s No. 1 Solution Provider. And, she told CDN – in a wide-ranging two-part interview – there have been many moments of sheer excitement, fun and also times that were quite awkward during her six months at HP Inc. Canada.
One of those awkward moments came during a meeting Yule had at significant solution provider who she compete against when she was at CDW Canada. At the meeting Yule got a direct question about where her loyalties lie now that she is running HP Inc. Canada.
Yule took the question is stride assuring the partner that whether you are a national partner, a regional partner or a smaller solution provider with a unique skill set the entire ecosystem is equally important and special to HP Inc. Canada. “I do not have any favourites because of my history and there’s no one channel type we want to work with. I want to work with the entire base as we always have,” she said.
But her history is an important factor for the future of HP Inc.’s Canadian subsidiary, based in Mississauga, Ont.
Yule’s career has run the gamut of experiences. She has worked for Tech Data Canada. She has worked for an OEM at Toshiba Canada. Then her 12 years at a channel partner in CDW Canada. And, now she is back with an OEM in HP Inc.
The 2010 CDN Women of the IT Channel honouree took time out of her schedule to talk to CDN about many subjects. This is part one of the interview. Make sure to come back to CDN tomorrow for part two.
The following is an edited transcript.
CDN: How would you sum up your time so far at HP Inc. Canada?
Mary Ann Yule: It’s a cool company and a wonderful place to be at. We are a new organization with a new agenda so we are trying to re-invent ourselves for agility and innovation. We want to look like thin and light notebooks. People today want to carry technology that is attractive and still meet business needs. We need to speak to the end user as a consumer. Also security is more of a priority today; as the partner community has these requirements and HP has innovated some of these notebooks with security. In our printing technology it’s the most secure in the planet and that too adds to the confidence of partners to tell our story.
CDN: You have talked about your experience in all sectors of the channel; how has it helped running HP Inc. in Canada?
M.A.Y.: I’ve been in the game a long time and I have worked in distribution. At an OEM and a reseller and now I’m back at an OEM in HP. I’ve worked in all elements of the value chain and that gives me a different lens to take to a partner or internally here to help them propel the HP brand. I understand the needs of a distributor. I know what reseller engagement means and how that strategically fits with HP.
CDN: What are some of your strategic directives for HP Inc. Canada?
M.A.Y.: The significant changes started with conversations with partners and how far we can go with them. I met with several of them when I first took this job and I wanted to know what we were doing well and not so well. Internally I want to accelerate what we are doing well with partners and see how we can get better ourselves. It’s the same with customers. Doesn’t matter if they are small or very large. We need to show them the HP value proposition.
I get directions from the global organization and what I’m doing is trying to enhance that here through partnerships in the channel. The channel is at the centre of the company and to me. We need to enable them and to work with them in a win-win so they do take advantage of our technology.
CDN: I know you share the same building as HPE, but are there any other synergies that you can take advantage of?
M.A.Y.: We already take advantage of the relationship with HPE as an alliance partner the same way we do with others. We treat all alliance partners special because they all have unique offerings. HPE and HP are separate and we have to have separate business objectives. We have to align and we will work together but we will do the same with other vendor alliances.
CDN: One of the reasons for the split is that HP can move faster to address market changes. Can you give me an example of that?
M.A.Y.: Can’t speak to a specific example because I wasn’t here when it was a united company. I don’t have that experience, but on the HP side there is more movement and agility in terms of fast in design and fast in programs for channel partners. There is quicker account manager engagement with partners today and we are much more flexible.
In part two of the Mary Ann Yule interview CDN asks her about 3D printing, security and her thoughts on born-in-the-cloud channel partners.