HP Ups Ante With New Profit-Packed PartnerOne Program


AdvizeX isn't the only partner making significant new investments in staff and resources to sell and service HP's end-to-end portfolio. Enterprise partners like Westminster, Calif.-based CB Technologies, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Bedrock Technology Partners, and Irvine, Calif.-based Nth Generation Computing Inc. are all doubling down on HP, investing more in HP's end-to-end portfolio. They said they see a marked step up in HP's commitment to drive channel sales growth under HP CEO Meg Whitman. They said the PartnerOne changes set for 2014 will drive big profits for partners committing lock, stock and barrel to HP.

"If HP works with a partner that is all HP, they know we are in there fighting for HP storage and HP networking," said Scott Douglas, senior vice president of sales for CB Technologies. "Most other resellers will take the easy way out and go with what is probably already in there, which is not HP. They are likely going to bring in the competition. You need a partner that is going to live and die with you, and that is what CB Tech is for HP."

HP, for its part said the new "customer-facing" PartnerOne membership tiers will open the door for HP to actively promote top-tier HP partners in HP marketing campaigns and make it easier for partners to differentiate themselves in the market.

The financial benefits will be significant for a partners selling end-to-end HP solutions at the Platinum level, which requires HP enterprise-software certifications and a significant commitment to a pan-HP solutions portfolio, said Doug Oathout, HP's vice president global marketing, channel partner alliances and OEM, enterprise marketing. He said Platinum Specialist profitability will jump 20 percent with the average deal size in the U.S. expected to double to $300,000 compared with Gold Specialist partners.

Under the new PartnerOne program, partner compensation will consist of three elements: core compensation with an accelerator for hitting sales growth targets; new business opportunity rewards; and strategic product bonuses aimed at rewarding partners for selling next-generation products like Moonshot, 3Par and HP networking. That strategic bonus for the first time will be built directly into PartnerOne for minimum six-month intervals rather than as individual product promotions, which required significant paperwork and approval gates. "Now partners don't have to claim them," said Oathout. "They will automatically get it. The key for us is selling solutions and accelerating the adoption of key products. Partners will know ahead of time ... what the strategic products are, what the bonuses are, and it will be built into the price of the products."

HP plans to announce final revenue "thresholds and benefit rates" for the new PartnerOne tiers in October, said Oathout. What's more, the company plans to make additional PartnerOne enhancements aimed at driving partner sales growth for 2014.

Oathout anticipates the net impact of the PartnerOne changes will be to drive a new class of large franchise HP partners selling end-to-end integrated HP solutions. "Today some of our largest partners keep us at arm's length because they don't want so much revenue going to HP because they want to keep a balanced portfolio between us and competitors," Oathout said. "This is the time to change the game and have partners become more strategic for us. Instead of being the arms supplier or arms dealer, we are going to become a partner delivering solutions versus piece parts."

The Platinum specialist benefits include strategic initiatives bonuses, enhanced rebates and HP executive sponsor participation in driving sales growth. HP expects over the next two years to drive about 300 partners in the U.S., the top 10 percent of the company's partner base, to the Platinum Specialist certification.

Page Murray, vice president of worldwide channel marketing for HP, said he expects the increased benefits from PartnerOne to drive more partners selling competitive offerings into the HP fold. "Nobody knows how to make money faster than a channel partner," he said. "As soon as they get the formula and realize they'll make more money selling HP, they're going to start to cannibalize the other [vendor-oriented sales] teams to fund the one group that is making money."

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