HP on the Hunt with VARsBy Michael Vizard | Posted 2008-08-19 Email Print
HP is looking to avoid merely shifting market share across different solution providers, resellers and VARs, HP is increasing the amount of money available to channel partners that bring in new accounts to HP. The focus for HP is for channel partners, resellers and VARs to land new SMB accounts.
Like any society, the channel is made up of hunters and gatherers that play a vital role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
But every now and again the balance between hunters and gathers gets out of whack, and steps need to be taken to restore the natural order of things.
That seems to be where Hewlett-Packard (HP) is after three years of a PartnerOne program that probably has seen more successes than missteps even if the missteps gain more attention.
Today HP finds itself in a position where its biggest opportunity for growth doesn’t come from penetrating existing accounts further but rather gaining share in the U.S. SMB (small-to-medium business) sector at the expense of its rivals. To that end, HP is increasing the amount of money available to partners that bring in new accounts that do not represent a mere shifting of HP’s market share across different solution providers.
To help partners co-invest in marketing campaigns to help increase HP’s market share, HP will make available additional funds to help defer the cost of going after that business. As part of the effort, HP is creating additional Elite certification designations around the product categories of workstations, PC blades, thin clients and virtualization while also promising that it will be much more nimble when it comes to helping solution providers win business and fulfill orders.
Much of the work going into the revision of HP’s PartnerOne program reflects criticism of the company that was made by partners during the company’s last annual partner conference. The good news is that HP is moving to address many of those issues as it looks to the annual revamp of its channel program that will kick in this fall.
Included in that effort is working more closely with ISVs such as VMware. It is hoped, for example, that by centralizing much of the virtualization certifications needed to sell VMware through HP’s channel process, the cost of creating a dedicated virtualization practice will become that much lower for partners.
Overall, HP says it is now generating more than 1,000 leads a month on behalf of its channel partners thanks to investments in marketing campaigns and the presence of more HP salespeople in the SMB space.
As always, the wheels of change and justice turn slowly at HP. But each of the new additions to the PartnerOne program directly address specific gripes that HP partners have had over the last year. While everybody probably wishes HP would address them a little faster, the one thing you have to give HP credit for is that the company appears to be listening to its partners.
Naturally, all HP is asking from partners in return is to farm existing customers a little less in favor of bringing home some new big game.