HP Revamps PartnerOne

Updates cover deal registration, membership structures, the Elite designation and market development funds.

In an effort to incent solution providers to sell more products in its overall portfolio, Hewlett-Packard Co. is revamping its partner program.

The streamlining of the HP flagship partner program, called PartnerOne, takes effect this month.

The changes are also intended to bring dozens of acquired companies over the past several years into the PartnerOne fold. "It's an overhaul for us," said Mike Galane, senior director of HP's Enterprise Server, Storage and Networking (ESSN) Channel Marketing and Strategy for the Americas.

HP has made four key updates to PartnerOne, namely improvements to the deal registration process, an alignment of the membership structures, a streamlining of its Elite designation across key product areas, and increased investments in marketing and training.

On the deal registration front, HP has standardized terms and processes. Now partners only have five deal registration options, down from 11. Also, where new deals are concerned, HP is shifting from a rebate model to up-front payments, Galane said.

"This way it's real clear in the deal," he said. "And it's a cash cycle for our partners as they close the deal; they see the benefit up-front and the sales reps get to see what the margin is in the deal."

Romi Randhawa, CEO of HPM Networks, an HP partner based in Freemont, Calif., welcomed the changes to the deal registration process. "My reps will love it, and we don't have to chase the rebates anymore," he said in an e-mail.

Another important change to the PartnerOne program involves bringing some key product areas into the program. Now part of PartnerOne is its entire combined networking business that includes the ProCurve networking product lines and the 3Com partner program, plus HP's software business, Palm and its Halo line.

HP has introduced common Elite designations across its portfolio that are aimed at consistency. The company has extended the year-old Converged Infrastructure Elite program for those partners that hold virtualization, networking, services and enterprise storage Elite designations. "These are the folks who can truly sell at the datacenter level," Galane said.

Last, HP is adding more marketing and development funds in its new fiscal year, said Matt Smith, director of marketing for HP's Solution Provider Organization. "There are incremental dollars that will be available to all partners but as a percentage, these smaller partners who usually address the smaller end customers will see a much bigger impact," he said. On average the increases will range from $4,000 to $10,000, he said.

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.