Insight Enterprises Takes on HPE Employees in Conway

Insight Enterprises Takes on HPE Employees in Conway
From left, Chris Coffman, director of Insight Enterprises Inc.'s Conway facility; Insight U.S. President Steve Dodenhoff, Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Conway Mayor Tab Townsell cut a ribbon Tuesday to announce the company's moving in to share the building at 355 Ledgelawn Drive with Hewlett-Packard Enterprises, which transferred 175 of its employees to Insight.  (Sarah Campbell)

Insight Enterprises Inc. of Tempe, Arizona, announced Tuesday that it has hired 175 Hewlett Packard Enterprise employees and set up shop with HPE in the Meadows Office and Technology Park in Conway.

Through the deal, originally announced in April, Insight has hired HPE employees, and HPE is contracting with Insight to handle HPE's inside sales operations. The employees will work at Insight's new office space inside the office park.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Conway Mayor Tab Townsell joined Insight U.S. President Steve Dodenhoff at the park to announce the company's arrival.

"Insight's decision to locate in Conway is another great example of the momentum in Arkansas' tech sector," Hutchinson said. "We know our workforce will provide the company the talent needed to thrive in the state. Conway, through strong partnerships with local universities and innovative programs, has established a reputation as a hub for technology-based companies."

Townsell said Conway's goal is to be a "complete city" where people want to "live, work and play." He called Insight coming to town an "endorsement of everything we're trying to do."

Publicly traded Insight (Nasdaq: NSIT), a Fortune 500 company, announced in a regulatory filing in April that it would expand its inside sales team through "an arrangement with an industry leading technology company." Insight said the expansion would help grow its inside sales team "focused on the small to medium business (SMB) and public sector client segments of the U.S. market." 

"As part of this arrangement, Insight will acquire a team of qualified personnel with specialized knowledge in data center solutions that Insight believes will enable it to expand its focus around a growing demand for core infrastructure," the company said in the filing.

Amy Protexter, vice president of marketing for Insight, described the relationship between HPE and Insight as Insight being a sales arm for HPE products. She said Insight's services are one way HPE brings its products to market.

Inside sales, Protexter added, is an office-based operation where sellers interact with clients over the phone or the Internet.

Insight said in the filing that it would add "more than 200" employees by the end of the third quarter. On Tuesday, Dodenhoff told Arkansas Business that the firm could add another 40 workers (not more transfers from HPE, but recruits from the community) by the end of the year and has the capacity to employ 300 at the Conway office park.

Insight said in its regulatory filing that it expects the expansion to be neutral to its 2016 earnings performance "but provide a foundation for growth in 2017 and beyond."

In April, HPE told The Log Cabin Democrat that the agreement with Insight, "a strategic labor partner," would "allow more flexibility in managing labor demands."

"There are employees who will move from HPE to Insight, and continue to work for HPE’s [Enterprise Group] Inside Sales organization," the company told the newspaper. "HPE will continue to own and manage the end-client relationship. Our goal is that 100 percent of employees will have a role in the new model."

Protexter told Arkansas Business that moving the employees from one company to another was "a smooth transition." The companies began the process in June, agreeing on two dates — one in early June and the other on July 1 — to move HPE employees to Insight.

Sources with knowledge of the transition told the Democrat and industry website CRN that Insight would offer the HPE employees "an equitable compensation package, with comparable salaries, benefits and commission payouts." 

On Tuesday, Dodenhoff said Insight was adding a high-quality, experienced sales force to its sales organization, which the company aims to grow.

"We really worked very, very hard to minimize any impact [on employees' pay and benefits] … They're very pleased with the transition," he said. "They're excited about being part of our team."

HPE holds a seven-year, a $190 million contract with the state Department of Human Services to manage Medicaid in Arkansas through its interChange Medicaid Management Information System, or MMIS. HPE won the contract last year, replacing an older management system and providing new features, including a website for Medicaid clients to access information about their accounts.

HPE established its Conway center in 2009.