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Hewlett-Packard is putting its money where its mouth is as it moves to battle rivals with a new four-tier PartnerOne channel program, which is based on both revenue and certifications and packed with significant new financial incentives for partners selling the full HP product portfolio.
The new PartnerOne global channel program, which goes into effect Nov. 1, encompasses HP's enterprise products, software, and printing and personal system portfolios and provides dramatic increases in profitability as partners move up the stack from business partner to Silver specialist to Gold specialist and finally the highest Platinum level.
Partners said the new PartnerOne marks the first time ever the $120 billion IT product and services giant has brought together all its might and muscle into a unified partner program with robust rewards for partners selling a full end-to-end HP solutions portfolio.
The increased margin at the Platinum tier is sure to put intense pressure on partners taking the "path of least resistance" selling competitive offerings like Cisco networking or EMC storage rather than a single converged HP solution, said Fred Traversi, the president of AdvizeX Technologies LLC, one of HP's top 10 enterprise partners and a unit within services giant Rolta, a $500 million IT services powerhouse.
"HP has just upped the ante," said Traversi. "Partners selling a smorgasbord of OEM offerings are going to have to make a decision. If you sell an integrated HP solution, you are going to make more money than you would selling those easier-to-sell standalone solutions."
Traversi expects product margins at the top-tier Platinum level to rise as much as 20 percent compared with the Gold level. "It's going to be hard for a partner to walk away from selling an HP Converged Infrastructure solution at the Platinum level with gross margins north of 20 points," he said. "It's a compelling proposition."
One sign of the power of the new HP PartnerOne incentives: AdvizeX is doubling down on HP's networking and big data software product offerings combined with HP converged infrastructure. Traversi calls his company's HP networking investment the largest bet he has placed in his 12 years at the company. "They are very big investments, but with the potential and probability of very large returns, he said.
Traversi, who has been working in the industry with HP channel programs for 34 years, said there never has been as much money put on the table for partners selling an end-to-end HP solution. "HP has always had an effective partner program, but this is the first time they have brought the power of total HP to partners," he said . "This will be the first time AdvizeX is rewarded for loyalty to HP. The bigger you are as a partner, the more valuable it becomes."