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Hewlett-Packard Co. this week announced four new programs for members of its U.S. PartnerONE program.

The four programs include increased compensation to partners selling across HP’s portfolio of enterprise products, simplified requirements for HP certifications, rental options for certain demo equipment, and marketing tools.

Perhaps the most significant of these is the PartnerONE Portfolio Tool. This rewards those channel partners selling across HP’s portfolio of enterprise products with 3 percent of the total value of a sale that is at least $100,000 of HP products and services. The 3 percent is paid over and above any other incentives.

Qualifying HP products include software, servers and data storage, along with HP services. A full range of maintenance and consulting services offerings counts toward the goal. The sale must involve HP services, and two out of four of these additional product groups must be represented: business-critical servers, Intel-based servers, network storage and OpenView software. Each one of the products in the sale must represent at least 10 percent of the total sale.

Partner reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m very excited about that [program],” said Geoffrey Lilien, CEO and founder of Lilien Systems of Mill Valley, Calif., a Platinum PartnerONE HP Partner. “It really benefits partners like us who sell across the portfolio. We sell almost all of HP’s products that are covered by this. It rewards partners who sell Complete HP solutions.”

HP has also reworked certification training by combining and removing redundancies from the course load for enterprise data storage, business-critical and industry-standard server product lines. The resulting comprehensive training and certification credential is at the generalist level and helps prepare partners for working across the portfolio of enterprise products.

Learners save time previously wasted out of the office repeating certain topics in separate courses. The new certification will be required Nov. 1, but HP will offer current enterprise storage and server partners who meet current certification requirements a long-term migration plan. Annual revenue requirements remain the same.

A new Partner Rent benefit puts low-cost demos of the latest equipment into partners’ hands for six months (at 1.5 percent) or twelve months (at 1 percent) on a rental basis. “It’s extremely helpful to an enterprise partner like us to make it easier to obtain demo systems,” Lilien said. “Partner Rent lets you rent them rather than put out $150,000 for a system, hoping to sell it later.” Among the products in the Partner Rent program are selected HP9000, Integrity and blade servers, data storage arrays, tape storage and NAS (network-attached storage).

HP will offer partners a chance to open new doors with advertising that decreases the cost of getting high-value customers. HP did the heavy lifting with Bazzirk Inc., of Austin, Texas, a marketing intelligence company.

The result is a set of PWR (“power”) Tool campaigns, co-branded between HP and each participating partner. The campaigns are designed to target new customers outside the partner’s installed base and reach them with content aimed at six HP technology solutions, such as Adaptive Enterprise.

Click here to read about major SMB initiatives from Hewlett-Packard.

In a six-month pilot with selected partners, response rates tripled typical averages. Many of the partners want to come back with twice their original stake during the next campaign.

Lilien wasn’t in the pilot program, but did a campaign with Bazzirk without the assistance of HP. “The PWR Tool has been an effective method for finding new customers,” Lilien said. “We’ve had response rates in excess of 60 percent. They are a targeted door-opener.”

Bazzirk sent a voice-activated, remote-control robot to a high-level target, but the target had to book an appointment to get the remote control. “With this, you can get meetings with high-level decision-makers at customers that usually wouldn’t make an appointment with you,” Lilien said. “The ones we sent out, Commando Bot, which are discontinued now, were about $100 a piece. You must target your audience very carefully.”

“HP is demonstrating outstanding commitment to their channel partners and solution providers with the enhanced PartnerONE program,” said Jonathan King, vice president of alliances development at Totality, a San Francisco-based managed services provider and Gold PartnerONE Partner.

“We believe the added benefits will help us derive significant additional revenue with minimal additional investment on our part to take advantage of the program.”

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