HP Seeks to Reinvigorate the ChannelBy Michael Vizard | Print
At the HP Global Partner Conference 2013, HP announced plans to reunify its channel program and ensure that partners get rewarded, starting with their first sale.
As part of a major overhaul of the HP PartnerOne channel program, HP announced plans at the HP Global Partner Conference 2013 (Feb. 19 to 21) in Las Vegas to reunify its channel program and ensure that partners get rewarded, starting with their first sale.
All told, HP will invest $1.5 billion this year in its channel program, which includes the HP Autonomy and Vertica business units that are now part of the HP PartnerOne channel program.
The goal is to remove from the channel program "governors and rails" that have been getting in the way of channel partners, said Doug Oathout, vice president of global marketing for channel partner, alliances and OEM for HP Enterprise Marketing.
Those changes include the following:
- a simplified and more consistent compensation model that removes rebate revenue gates and caps as part of an effort to make revenue streams more predictable for partners;
- increasing rebates for higher-specialist designations;
- extending the amount of time partners have to use their marketing development funds (MDF) from three months to six months; and
- rationalizing and simplifying sales and technical certifications in the HP ExpertOne training program.
Making Way for Its Partners
HP wants to get out of the way of its channel partners, many of which are currently hiring people just to manage their participation in the HP program, Oathout said. The salaries for those people are often paid for using the MDF that HP set aside to help partners market HP products.
"We generally don't love it when we hear about partners using MDF funds to manage the MDF program," Oathout said.
In the wake of these changes, HP will be actively recruiting thousands of new partners, according to Oathout. These include former HP channel partners that had drifted into the camps of EMC, NetApp and Dell. Many of those partners did not defect because of any issue with product capability. Instead, they felt that it had become too difficult to transact business with HP.
Looking to give partners something to immediately sell under the new program updates, HP also unveiled new system and networking products, including an HP BladeSystem c7000 Platinum enclosure and a new SX1018 HP Ethernet switch, which HP claims provides the lowest port-to-port latency of any blade switch, and is more than four times faster than previous switches. HP says it is the first in the industry to provide 40GB downlinks to each blade server for near-real-time performance.
The vendor also introduced the HP ProLiant WS460c Generation 8 (Gen8) Workstation Blade, which is designed to support high-density 3D graphics and eight GPUs per blade server. Supporting four times more users per host blade, the system lowers costs by up to 60 percent per user, compared with previous generations of servers, according to the company.
HP announced two new HP StoreVirtual Storage systems—based on HP ProLiant Gen8 technologies—that nearly double performance and capacity density compared with previous models. In addition, the new HP StoreSystem, a channel-only midrange storage solution, combines HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and HP StoreOnce Backup systems that are pre-racked for rapid deployment.
This far, HP claims to have delivered more than 8 million virtual connect ports, issued more than 7 million HP Insight Management licenses, shipped more than 40 petabytes of bladed storage and 50 million switch ports, and grown to nearly 900 HP CloudSystem customers. In addition, the vendor says it has led the industry in blade server revenue and shipments for 24 consecutive quarters.
As part of an effort to jump-start those sales, HP also announced the new HP CloudSystem Ready Program, which lets members of the HP AllianceOnce Partner Program bring applications to the cloud. This program is intended to make it easier for ISVs to easily test applications using the HP CloudSystem platform.
Finally, HP Financial Service has extended HP CloudSystem financing to channel partners and their customers moving to the cloud. This program allows customers to build and scale cloud environments without large up-front cash outlays.
All told, HP is trying to re-energize a channel program that has suffered from too much complexity. The latest updates to the HP PartnerOne program are a first step toward changing that dynamic.