Independent HPE and HP Inc. Combine Channel Focus
At the Global Partner Conference 2016 conducted jointly by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc., the two independent entities, which until late last year were one company, highlighted how they aim to collectively make it simpler for partners to do business with each of them.
To that end, HP Inc. this week announced that it is not only simplifying the structure of its channel programs, but it has also plunked down more than $1 billion to add the copier and printer business of Samsung to the portfolio of products and services that partners can resell.
In addition, HP Inc. is looking to make it simpler for partners to launch co-marketing campaigns, while also providing access to assets they can use to drive social media engagements. The PC and printer company is making it possible for its distribution partners to provide higher levels of support directly to HP business partners.
For its part, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which sells enterprise solutions and services, announced a bevy of new partner competencies while at the same time moving to combine multiple partner programs that were previously aimed at different classes of partners into a single program. The competencies include application development and transformation, IT automation and orchestration, risk management and secure design, incident recovery, threat detection and response, data discovery and assessment, data management infrastructure and architecture, data analytics and business insight, intelligent workplace, digital collaboration and campus mobility.
Jesse Chavez, vice president worldwide indirect strategy and operations at HPE, said the company does not want to force partners to participate in multiple separate programs to be rewarded.
"Now partners can access everything they do with us via one portal," said Chavez.
As part of that effort, Chavez said HPE isn't necessarily looking to add to its base of more than 86,000 partners as much as it is to enable the partners it does have.
As a longtime partner of both HP Inc. and HPE, Milestone Technologies CEO Sarah Miles said that since the two companies split last year, HP Inc., in particular, has become more responsive to channel partners. HP Inc. is repurposing a customer portal that Milestone Technologies designed for its customers and is now making it available to other partners.
"We're now working with 20 other HP partners on this," said Miles.
The customer portal is key, said Miles, because it allows the channel partner to work with internal IT organizations to define what types and classes of devices should be made available to end users. Those end users can then order those devices themselves in a way that reduces the procurement headache for the internal IT organization.
Naturally, there are a lot of challenges that partners face trying to navigate new and existing business relationships spanning HPE and HP Inc. But for the time being at least, none of those challenges appear to be insurmountable.
Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications, including InfoWorld, CRN and eWEEK. He currently blogs daily for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, Channel Insider and Baseline.