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HP Taps Partners To Sell and Deliver Services

As more companies look toward virtualization and cloud computing, solution providers are faced with the opportunity to offer 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 last week announced 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 2012 fiscal year. Looking to ramp it up, though, HP is phasing ServiceOne in now for partners.

"This is around a strategy and program that gives the partners access to the broad spectrum of technology services to satisfy their customers' growing requirements for innovative technology solutions," said Ken Archer, vice president of channels and alliances for HP Technology Solutions in the Americas.

"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." he said.

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

There are two levels to the new program: ServiceOne Specialist and the premier ServiceOne Expert. The latter 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," said Pat O'Connor, director of business development for remarketed services at Solon, Ohio-based Agilysys Technology Solutions Group.

ServiceOne offers a much tighter connection together at the customer level, as well, O'Connor said, adding the program offers a close coupling between HP and the partner to give the customer a better 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 said. For HP's Cloud Discovery Workshop, he said the new program is an optimal way to deliver those services, jointly with HP.

Initially, it may be two people from HP's 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 any or sufficient 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 said, "they might start out in the consulting engagement Cloud Discovery Workshop, move to a network assessment, and then we need to look at what the cloud design is going to be."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on July 21, 2011