As seen on CRN

By Steven Burke

“I took the job because it is a rare opportunity to walk into a Fortune 50 company and say: ‘We are at an inflection point. We are at an inflection point where our CEO (Enrique Lores) has declared the lifetime value of the customer, the lifelong relationship with the customer is where we want to bet the future of the company,’” says new HP Workforce Services & Solutions President Dave Shull

New HP Workforce Services & Solutions President Dave Shull is determined to drive a new era of “lifelong relationship” hybrid workplace services and subscription opportunities for HP partners.
“We are selling PCs and printers today, we are going to build on that and create a new relationship with the customers and we want that to be a lifelong relationship with the customers,” said Shull, the former Poly CEO who decided to take on the job of HP services czar after closing the deal last summer for Poly to be sold to HP for $3.3 billion. “That changes our financial metrics. That changes our go-to-market strategy. That changes our services and our offerings. That is what brought me to HP.”

Shull, who as chief commercial officer of Dish Network led a massive subscription services transformation at the satellite TV provider that relied heavily on partners, has already met with dozens of HP partners in an open dialogue on how to structure partner compensation for partners in a “lifelong” customer relationship services model.

“Openness and listening to what the customer demand is going to be is issue number one,” said Shull in an exclusive interview with CRN. “Issue number two is compensation. What I will promise to partners is a frank dialogue where I value their passion and their role as entrepreneurs. We are all running businesses here. So it is about how do we find a partnership where we all make money and where we align interests recognizing that our goal is to keep a lifelong relationship with the customer. So we’ve got to structure something that works for all of us.”

Shull Ready For The Challenge

Shull, who started in the newly created post three months ago and reports directly to HP CEO Enrique Lores, said he took on the HP services subscription challenge even though he had the opportunity to take his fourth turn as CEO after completing the Poly sale.

“I took the job because it is a rare opportunity to walk into a Fortune 50 company and say: ‘We are at an inflection point. We are at an inflection point where our CEO (Enrique Lores) has declared the lifetime value of the customer, the lifelong relationship with the customer is where we want to bet the future of the company,’” said Shull. “To make that shift from a transactional entity to one that values that lifelong relationship is a big change for a company that has 50,000 employees and $60 plus billion (in sales). I wanted to be part of that change. I wanted to be part of that vision for where we are going to go.”

Shull says it was that ability to team with a company that provided the scale and reach of an HP that led Poly with its broad portfolio of videoconferencing, cameras and headsets to make the deal with the PC and printer behemoth.

“Being able to combine the HP scale on PCs and printers with the Poly collaboration gear in a $60 plus billion (company) is a much better scale story for our customers who range from consumers to the Global 1000,” said Shull. “They want a complete solution. They don’t want sort of a fragmented offering. That is why the Poly board felt like it was the right strategic move to do that deal.”

Shull said the “energy” and creativity sparked by the HP Poly combination is palatable with the two companies coming together. “We are three months now officially into the post integration close and I would say the team energy is great,” he said. “What has enabled that is the cultures were actually very similar. People are there to solve a bit of a mission oriented problem which is motivating.”

Both the HP and Poly teams a have a rich heritage of delivering breakthrough innovation in their respective markets, said Shull.

That passion for innovation is at the heart of the culture that HP’s legendary co-founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard established when they founded the company 84 years ago. “Being able to walk into the customer experience center here in Palo Alto and see the (HP co-founders) Bill (Hewlett) and Dave (Packard) HP heritage is pretty compelling,” said Shull.

Partners Excited By Opportunities

HP partners, for their part, say they are charged up by the services opportunities that the HP-Poly combination opens up for them.

NWN Carousel, a top HP partner, has been selling hybrid work services, including device as a service and collaboration rooms as a service on a subscription, per-user basis even before the pandemic.

“We have literally millions of users across our 5,000 customers that are already consuming hybrid work services from our core portfolio,” said Andrew Gilman, chief marketing officer for NWN Carousel, No. 34 on the 2022 CRN Fast Growth 150 and No. 53 on the CRN SP500. “We are already taking HP hardware and Poly gear and bringing it to customers in a subscription model with our NWN Carousel Experience Management Platform. That hybrid work business took off during the pandemic and it has not slowed down.”

The NWN Carousel hybrid work subscription model with its own Experience Management Platform has become “mission critical” as companies look to support employees working at home and in the office, said Gilman. The NWN Carousel subscription portfolio includes At Home Essentials, work at home connectivity and collaboration tools, and Office Collaboration Room as a Service for offices.

Gilman said Shull’s vision for hybrid work as a service is spot on. “We already have home worker services with the Poly collaboration with our own Experience Management Platform integrated with device as a service managed by us along with security from NWN Carousel. We have a fully hybrid work-as-a-service offering whether you are at home or in the office.”

The NWN Carousel subscription services offering has transformed work-at-home from a variable, DIY (do it yourself) offering in a “wild west” IT environment into a fully secure and managed offering from NWN Carousel, said Gilman. “We have brought best of breed equipment and components with our own services including the ability to get help and live chat on how to use the gear,” he said.

One sign of the NWN Carousel momentum around hybrid work is the opening of a new West Coast hybrid work experience center in the next several months in Sacramento, Calif, said Gilman. That hybrid work experience center includes HP and Poly gear and is targeted directly at the hybrid work challenges facing customers including California state and local government agencies, said Gilman.

Next Phase Of Hybrid Work

The HP-Poly service opportunities represent the next phase of the evolution of the hybrid workplace, said Gilman. He said the market has moved far beyond customers looking for transactional product sales. “This is all about consultative engagements with our clients on hybrid work,” he said.

Rick Chernick, the CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, an ACP CreativIT company that has a robust audio visual meeting rooms business,, said he is looking forward to meeting with Shull to discuss hybrid work services and meeting room opportunities. “We are very anxious to sit down with Dave Shull and talk about a hybrid work services program that has some teeth that will work for partners,” he said.

As for HP’s commitment to partners as the company builds out subscription services, Shull said: “My commitment to them is I want them to own that customer for life and I want to bring the full power of the HP brand, the HP services capabilities, the HP balance sheet to bear to support that and how do make it even bigger on that basis. I think it could be astonishing for all of us!”