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The third is a move by HP to move all customer purchases of its LeftHand P4000 product line and its single-node StoreOnce dedupe appliances only through channel partners. This includes sales to any customers except government accounts or accounts which absolutely insist on purchasing direct from HP, Joyce said.
Furthermore, he said, all future business that gets registered by partners will only go through indirect channels, he said. "We can make certain our salespeople, if they come over an opportunity, will take it to their go-to partners in their territory," he said.
The fourth initiative is a new SMB specialization as part of HP's PartnerOne channel program that provides partners the opportunity to get training and incentives to develop the skills to increase their storage business. Joyce said this program will start with HP's EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) channel partners, and will be available in North America sometime in the near future.
The fifth is a new cloud builder specialization for a variety of HP's offerings including storage.
Scott said that HP's solution providers, many of whom have already been selling cloud infrastructures, can now get training and certifications for that part of their business.
"This lets partners become specialists in building out clouds," he said.
HP this week also used the HP Global Partner Conference to introduce the P4900 G2, a new storage array which fits up to 16 400-GB MLC SSDs into a 2-node storage cluster with a maximum capacity of 6.4 TBs. Multiple P4900 G2 systems can be connected together for a maximum of 102.4 TBs of SSD capacity.
Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and long-time HP partner, said he is not surprised to see HP make channel-exclusive storage plans given that the vendor has already been steadily improving incentives for its direct sales force to work with VARs.
"We're seeing more field engagements where our guys and their guys are going into the field together," Baldwin said. "Right now, we're looking to hire two new people to go after new HP storage accounts."
Baldwin also said that HP's introduction of the P4900 G2 shows that HP understands the importance of all-Flash arrays to the market.
"Everybody seems to be doing that," he said. "Look at IBM and EMC. I've been doing it with XIO. It just makes sense having an all-solid state product for virtualized environments. You've heard of VDI boot storms where everybody logs on to virtual desktops at once and dragging down performance? This takes care of it."