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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

HP will roll its mobility and cloud offerings into the PartnerOne channel
program, executives with the company told Channel
. 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

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
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

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.