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Tech Data has unveiled its HP Advanced Customer Experience Solution (ACES) configuration portal, developed to help partners proactively manage requests, and track service levels and turnaround times. Available to all Tech Data’s U.S. reseller partners, HP ACES streamlines the solution sales process by simplifying the ordering and tracking process, and providing real-time progress reporting on all Hewlett-Packard enterprise servers, storage and networking configurations in a single portal.

The HP ACES tool enables resellers to submit, manage and report on all configuration requests submitted to Tech Data via a customized Web portal. This gives solution providers a simplified quote and ordering process, including full visibility and transparency in all aspects of configuration, said Tech Data.

There were multiple drivers behind the development of the HP ACES configuration portal, said Sheri Hedlund, vice president of product marketing, HP Solutions Group at Tech Data. “There is no secret that the process to drive a complex configuration among HP enterprise products is not an easy process.

“Tech Data wanted to team up with HP to put together a simplified and streamlined tool that held all complex configuration processes in one place, so the driver was really an effort to benefit and help our resellers through the process, and HP obviously wanted to make it as simple as possible.”

Key benefits of the new portal include speedier and more accurate configuration and pricing in one place, real-time tracking, and automatic communications of quote and sales updates. It also includes proactive notifications and alerts on expiring bids or missing information, while giving resellers access to a log of open, pending and closed quotes.

The speed, efficiency and accuracy of their configurations are an absolute benefit, Hedlund said. Through the ACES tool, solution providers can expect enhanced communications and improved access to business intelligence in order to convert more quotes to sales without any incremental investment, she added.

“They have a pipeline visibility into all their open quotes in one place, ” Hedlund said. “The management of these open and pending quotes with some of the tool’s capabilities, such as real-time alerts, gives them visibility into what deals they may need to prioritize, based on things like expiring pricing and programs.”

Many mid-tier small and midsize business (SMB) channel partners have inefficient and manual systems, including spreadsheets, to manage their open and pending orders, said Hedlund. “Through ACES, we provide them with real-time updates all the way through the process and communicate the life cycle of their quote from concept to completion.”

With speed and efficiency, there is a higher quote conversion to sales, said Hedlund. “Giving [resellers] access and the speed to turn quotes faster adds efficiency to their own sales organization, and having visibility into their pipeline gives them improved overall management of their line of business.

“The tool also enables the sales organization to incorporate things such as deal registration and HP program utilization, which helps ensure that they are maxing out as many program dollars as they can on their opportunities.”

Thanks to ACES, Tech Data has seen an improvement of its turnaround times by 25 percent at a minimum, said Hedlund. Ultimately, the distributor believes it will deliver industry-leading response times and accuracy levels.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributing writer, specializes in technology and the channel.