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Hewlett-Packard wants to make it a lot simpler and more profitable for solutions providers to go after major deals involving emerging technologies such as big data. To achieve that, the company has enhanced its PartnerOne program.

Additions to the program include new specializations and certifications. HP is also increasing rebates on its converged infrastructure product portfolio for cloud computing environments and big data applications built using its Autonomy and Vertica products.

Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing for PartnerOne strategy, said that HP is trying to make sure its partners have the skills they need to take advantage of the high-margin opportunities offered by emerging technologies. He noted that demand for these technologies is currently outstripping the available supply of expertise.

“It’s about making sure our partners have the skills [needed] in the market,” he explained. “Partners have to be constantly on the lookout for new opportunities.”

Eitenbichler said HP is happy to give partners access to its service arm if they don’t have their own capability. However, when it comes to turning a profit, the company would much rather have partners drive high-margin services revenue than look to HP for additional margin on product sales.

To help drive adoption of big data opportunities in particular, HP has announced that more than 120 value-added resellers (VARs), service providers and systems integrators have signed up to support HP HAVEn. That system combines HP Autonomy IDOL, HP Vertica Analytics Platform, HP ArcSight Security Event Manager, HP ArcSight Logger and Hadoop into a single offering.

“We’re looking to move up to where the margin is,” said Jeff Smith, director of technology and alliances for International Integrated Solutions, a solution provider that participates in the HP HAVEn channel program. “The thing about big data is that it’s a problem that affects the entire IT industry.”

For that reason, Smith said that rather than focusing solely on big data software, channel partners must go after opportunities that span a wide variety of IT infrastructure technologies.

“HAVEn is designed to be a very flexible platform,” added John Knightly, vice president of market development for HP Software. “It gives customers a starting point to get a big data project going.”

As HP continues to sharpen its focus on the channel, it’s clear that high-margin opportunities involving big data and the cloud are going to be crucial to its success. But before any of those opportunities can be seized, HP needs to make sure the channel partners that sell its offerings are both highly skilled and financially motivated.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.