Now that Meg Whitman is President and CEO of Hewlett Packard, she has expressed an interest in returning to its heydey, when it "served the channel."
Indeed it did, and in the 1970s through the 1990s it was very successful with its HP/3000, a "workhorse" "minicomputer" that a half dozen or so very popular OMS vendors (we didn't call them that then) relied on. They relied on Suprtool, a flexible Swiss-army knife utility programming language supported by the HP/3000, to supplement their standard systems, and with it were able to "customize" a lot of their functionality for each user.
When Windows-based systems began to mature after Y2K, the 3000 faded from the scene. But while it was around, it was a force to be reckoned with.
If Whitman is able to recapture that kind of channel relationship in multichannel marketing (and other verticals), she will make some very large waves, indeed.