HP is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to its new WebOS based tablet computing strategy.
Stephen DiFranco, vice president and general manager, Solution Partners Organization – Americas, on Monday kicked off the company's Americas Partner Conference by announcing that the company is putting its PartnerOne channel program muscle fully behind its WebOS-based offering.
With a call to action for partners to build business mobility practices around WebOS, DiFranco promised partners that the $126 billion computer giant will have robust PartnerOne program benefits to incent partners to get into the mobility game with HP.
Beginning this summer, DiFranco said, HP partners will be able to sell WebOS solutions and tap into new HP PartnerONE program benefits including market development funds, volume programs, big deal registration and practice development for partners selling WebOS products, such as the HP TouchPad.
What's more, he said, in November, HP plans to introduce an Elite mobility program offering that will provide more substantial benefits for partners that meet higher level HP mobility partner requirements.
"We are going to help our partners develop mobility practices that include services like app development, mobility virtualization and mobility management," said DiFranco. HP is holding a mobility event on Wednesday at the partner conference aimed at getting its partners to build mobility practices.
DiFranco said HP is uniquely positioned to help partners succeed in the commercial based tablet and connective devices market. "Companies are going to want to have specific apps for their businesses," he said. "Partners are going to be very very important here helping customers find mobility apps that are core to their business."
Matt Smith, director of Americas Channel Marketing for HP, said that the first HP TouchPad units off the line will be "fully PartnerOne eligible and aligned." What's more, he said, PartnerOne benefits around training and deal registration will also be available to partners when the product is launched in June.
Smith also promised that partners will have "price parity" with retail outlets carrying the products under an HP MAP (Manufacturer Advertised Price) initiative. In fact, he said, HP was more concerned about commercial partners possibly undercutting retail pricing. "Partners should be able to get good margins," he said.
Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, a Green Bay Wisc. HP partner who has seen the new WebOS HP offering and phones, said he was excited about the HP mobility opportunity.
"I've seen the product," he said. "It's gorgeous. I think it is going to sell like crazy."