Hewlett-Packard won top marks from IT solution providers in the Notebooks/Mobile Computers category, wresting the title from Panasonic, last year's winner. Panasonic captured one of the highest scores in the entire report card--106.3--in the quality and reliability criteria, but fell to last place overall in the category. VARs gave vendors a wide range of scores in this category, ranging from Panasonic's high to Dell's low of 45.1 in the training criterion.
In fact, overall, the Notebooks category had 11 of the ARC's lowest scores. Among those with the "bottom 10" scores in the various criteria: Panasonic and Dell (overall); Lenovo, HP and Dell (ROI); Panasonic and Dell (managing channel conflict); and HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Dell (services opportunity).
Although Panasonic came in first in quality and reliability, HP's scores still reflected solution providers' high satisfaction in that criterion. Where HP really shone was in presales support; the vendor won each of the following support criteria--presales support, postsales support, quality of field management and marketing support--but lost training to Lenovo.
HP had a more spotty record in the partnership subcategory. It won the overall subcategory, but only placed first in two criteria: managing channel conflict and solution provider program.
"HP has the best-in-class partner program," said John Convery, executive vice president of Marketing and Vendor Relations at Denali Advanced Integration. The vendor's scores in partnership were better than in 2010, with the exception of the revenue and profit potential criteria. Convery explained: "Some niche partners might not take advantage of everything HP offers... We sell across the HP portfolio."
Illustrating Convery's point are HP's support scores. The vendor won the support subcategory, taking first place in every criterion except training. "Our sales professionals make joint sales with HP," Convery said. HP product support is available 24/7, and, he noted, the company has made major investments in its channel program.