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Channeling the Cloud

HP Gives Partners First Crack at ServiceOne

Hewlett-Packard is looking to make it easier for partners to offer its portfolio of services to customers.

As more companies look toward virtualization and cloud computing, solution providers are faced with the opportunity of offering more services than they ever have before. The problem is that many solution providers are still coming up to speed on the cloud themselves. To that end, Hewlett-Packard is looking to make it easier for partners to offer its portfolio of services to customers.

HP has launched a new specialization to its PartnerOne network called ServiceOne, a designation that will officially go online Nov. 1 at the beginning of the company's FY 2012. Looking to ramp it up, though, HP is phasing ServiceOne in now for partners.

"We want to give partners the opportunity to boost their bottom line by delivering innovative services that address every customer need, whether it's datacenter design or everyday support," says Ken Archer, vice president of channels and alliances for HP Technology Solutions in the Americas.

Archer says HP offers a wide range of technology services, including professional services and contractual services, as well as CarePack services, which are aimed at providing extended support for enterprise hardware and software offered by HP. Partners can also offer HP Insight Remote Support.

There are two levels to the new program: ServiceOne Specialist and the premier ServiceOne Expert, the latter of which comes with rebates, discounts and management tools. While HP will map two-thirds of partners into the entry-level Specialist tier, Archer believes many will aspire to the Expert level.

"As a reselling partner of HP's remarketed services, we will not only be able to resell the HP service -- so it's sold as an HP SKU -- but we will also be able to deliver on that service," says Pat O'Connor, director of business development for remarketed services at Solon, Ohio-based Agilysys Technology Solutions Group.

ServiceOne offers a much tighter connection at the customer level as well, O'Connor says, adding the program offers a close coupling between HP and the partner, aimed at providing a better customer experience. It also provides access to many of the capabilities that HP has internally.

"We'll have enhanced tools; we'll have enhanced resources and enhanced functionality as a channel partner if we choose to do that at the elite level," O'Connor says. As for the HP Cloud Discovery Workshop, he says the new program is an optimal way to deliver those services jointly with HP.

Initially, it may be two people from the HP bench and one from Agilysys delivering the Cloud Discovery Workshop, but as time goes by, Agilysys sees delivering the service on its own as an HP-branded SKU.

Indeed, if the partner is being asked by the customer to help them get to the cloud, and they don't have sufficient -- or any -- cloud expertise, they now can access Cloud Discovery Workshop, which is the first of the consulting offers HP started rolling out to the channel.

In the end, Archer says, "they might start out in the consulting engagement Cloud Discovery Workshop and move to a network assessment, and then we need to look at what the cloud design is going to be."

Check out the Schwartz Cloud Report blog at RCPmag.com/CloudReport.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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