Technology powerhouse HP’s focus in its November revamp of its PartnerOne channel partner program encompasses two themes – simplification and ease-of-use together with rewarding partners who make more of a commitment to HP.
The simplification part means deal registration is going from 11 clicks to just five as HP looks to make it easier for partners to do business with the tech giant, for fewer “clicks to cash,” Mike Galane, senior director, for the Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking Group channel marketing and strategy – Americas, told Channel Insider. Plus, HP is standardizing its Elite partner designation model across all the specializations as well as providing more investments in market development funds for partners who serve the SMB space.
All this refinement is an ongoing process for a company like HP, which has embarked on an aggressive acquisition program, buying 30 companies in the last 24 months and adding all those technologies and products to its portfolio of offerings that channel partners can resell.
“It’s clear that HP has been looking at this opportunity for a while on simplifying its ever growing product portfolio,” Matt Smith, director of marketing for the Solutions Partner Organization at HP told Channel Insider. Smith recently joined HP from Intel and is replacing Tom LaRocca in the role. (LaRocca has been moved over to head HP’s channel efforts with the Palm acquisition.) “The question is how do we get maximum value to partners for aligning with HP?”
Take, for instance, HP’s recent major push into the networking market through its acquisition of 3Com several months ago together with its internally-created ProCurve line of networking products. HP wants to reward partners who work to sell the entire HP lineup of products including networking switches to routers. With that in mind HP has introduced an Elite designation for networking. And beyond that it is offering an additional percentage in incentives for converged infrastructure partners that represent and sell the entire HP lineup as a converged infrastructure data center solution.
“Partners that sell the portfolio will be earning not only incremental rebates but will be rewarded for selling the entire portfolio,” said Galane. “There’s a significant incremental upside.”
Converged Infrastructure Elite partners are those who have earned four other Elite designations – virtualization, services, enterprise storage and networking. “We pay individually for each of those Elite programs and in the case of Converged Infrastructure there is a premium on top of all those,” said Galane
HP has also introduced a new Software Elite designation as well as a new Office Printing Solution Elite, which encompasses managed print services.
In addition, the Virtualization Elite designation has been expanded to include all aspects of virtualization from the servers to thin clients and desktop virtualization.
Separately, HP will double the investment it makes in market development funds and add to the tools it makes available to partners in terms of training and marketing resources including digital marketing, emails and direct mails. Partners focusing on SMB customers will see the most of this new investment, HP said.