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Archer also points to past friction in maintaining installed base contracts and renewals in cases where the partner is taking the lead and maintaining the customer relationship. HP hadn't sufficiently defined the sales engagement rules in HP-led situations but now they're clearly spelled out, he said.
"That lack of clarity and inconsistency caused conflicts. We would get mistrust, and I would get escalations that the HP rep wants to take this direct, a feeling there that they didn't really collaborate. So we are eliminating all the direct conflict there," Archer said.
HP sees the revised rules as a key to the success of its ServiceOne services strategy and program, which gives HP's services partners the ability to offer a full suite of HP professional and consulting services. HP knows that without trust, partners are going to be reluctant to bring new business to HP and will instead try to work the customer themselves, Archer said.
But in some cases, partners haven't been able to close deals on their own and have ended up losing customers. With the new rules, HP is hoping to build trust and convince partners that they'll still have opportunities to make money even when they bring in HP's sales muscle, Archer explained.
"We should be able to really help partners economically. And we should be able to help ourselves by having partners bring us into deals that we would have never found otherwise," Archer said.
Archer, a former solution provider executive, former Avaya channel chief and a 24-year HP channel veteran, returned to the company earlier this year to help with HP's services charge. With the new rules of engagement, Archer says he's hoping to install the channel as the primary growth engine for Technology Services.
"If you don't prioritize and maintain trust and predictability in partnering relationships -- and I am talking about sales engagements -- then everything kind of falls apart," Archer said. "You will not get the extension and augmentation of your selling and delivery if partners don't trust us or we don't trust them."