HP's PartnerOne Is Growing Up and Changing LessBy John Hazard | Print
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The annual changes HP tacks onto its PartnerOne program every November have grown less monumental as the system matures. This year's renovations include a certification portal, enhanced membership audits and no TCE Reports.
During its first year as a formal channel program, Hewlett-Packard Co.'s PartnerOne was rolling out significant program updates and revisions almost quarterly.
In its second year, the company limited major announcements to the change of the fiscal calendar.
As the program enters its fourth year this month, PartnerOne executives are confident the system in place is a solid one, and they are keeping the revisions to a minimum.
"That much change isn't healthy for partners," said Tom LaRocca, HP's vice president of partner development and programs.
"They need predictability. Some of them are making quarterly decisions and investments 12 and 16 months down the road. They need to know, 'Am I going to have a consistent investment from HP down the line?'"
HP, LaRocca said, kept most of the PartnerOne changes this year, which are under way, to the procedural:
The changes are part of new CEO Mark Hurd's channel directives to make sure channel resources go to the channel partners who are most productive, and the revisions are deigned to meet that end, LaRocca said.
Partners contacted for this story, many of whom have been critical of HP's channel program this year, said they were unmoved by this year's revisions.
"Understanding [PartnerOne] is difficult; it takes a lot of administration," said Mark McBee, vice president of vendor management at MCPc Inc. of Cleveland, a PartnerOne VAR.
"We spend four to five hours each quarter with [HP] channel reps trying to determine if we met the requirements. We don't have those challenges with any other partners."
These revisions are unlikely to fix any of those frustrations, McBee said, but they're also unlikely to cause any new ones.
Most popular should be the Certification Look-Up Tool, which he said should serve to clear some of the fog surrounding the issue.