HP Rolls Touchpad, webOS Phones into PartnerOne

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

HP will roll all mobility and cloud offerings into its PartnerOne program, making partners who sell those solutions eligible for MDF and demo units, the tech giant said at its Americas Partner Conference.

A few weeks ago, HP CEO Leo Apotheker provided his vision of where the industry is headed and how HP will lead the charge to the cloud and an everyone-connected world in his inaugural address to analysts, press and employees. This week, at the HP Americas Partner Conference (HPAPC), in Las Vegas, Apotheker and other HP executives told channel partners just where they fit into that plan.

HP will roll its mobility and cloud offerings into the PartnerOne channel program, executives with the company told Channel Insider. Those products will also be sold to consumers.

The inclusion in the PartnerOne program means partners will be eligible for everything from market-development funds (MDF) to demo units of mobility products, such as tablets and smartphones, according to Meaghan Kelly, vice president of SPO marketing and strategy at HP.

In addition, HP will introduce an Elite designation for mobility in November of this year.

Partners will be eligible to sell HP tablets and smartphones. Commercial customers who buy them will be taken through a process to help them sign up with a wireless carrier.  HP's director of Americas Channel Marketing, Matt Smith, said that HP's model for mobility products was created so that partners don't suffer a disadvantage from customers shopping consumer channels versus commercial channels.

Initially, HP expects more sales of these mobility products in the consumer market, but as time passes executives at the company believe the usage pattern of commercial versus consumer will be about 50-50.

Channel chief Stephen DiFranco told Channel Insider that the opportunities for channel partners in the cloud will be huge—from building private clouds for customers to using HP's public cloud to provide services. But partners that don't have a cloud plan in place right now shouldn't panic, according to Smith.

"Partners are concerned, 'What's my play in the cloud,' " Smith said. "There are lots of different business models. I don't want partners thinking that there's just one cloud environment. I don't want partners to overreact to the cloud. They are not going to miss something. Partners will not have to change their business models. This will not be a right-hand turn for everybody."

At the moment, HP has no plans to add an Elite designation for cloud computing. Instead, Smith said, HP will make its Converged Infrastructure Elite designation more robust. New tracks are expected to launch on November 1, but information about them will be available as early as May 1.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com