2012 Channel Champions: Volume Servers

HP easily outpaced Dell, IBM and Lenovo in the category and swept all 10 technical and support criteria. Its strongest showing was in product quality and reliability in the technical satisfaction rating, with an impressive score of 100.5. HP's only stumble was in the competitive pricing criterion in the financial factors rating, where Dell edged out HP by less than one percentage point.

Michael Haley, president of Edge Solutions, an HP Elite partner in Alpharetta, Ga., said his customers are loyal to HP industry-standard servers because they are affordable, reliable and come with strong system management tools.

"We're very excited about HP's new ProLiant Generation 8 servers, which will be even more automated and self-sufficient," said Haley. "This will continue to reduce IT expenditures for our clients."

Arlin Sorensen, CEO of Heartland Technology Solutions, a top HP Midwest partner, says HP's product quality and training is second to none.

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"This allows us to build solutions with confidence that we will be able to keep our clients online and functional," Sorensen said. "HP also trains our team with valuable technical training classes and events so we can stay ahead of the pack and serve clients well."

For HP partners, the best is yet to come, since the new ProLiant Gen8 server line incorporated mountains of feedback from the channel, said Mike Kendall, a group manager in HP's Industry Standard Servers and Software division.

"Given how many of our products are moved through the channel, I asked my team early on, 'What are we missing that partners need to be successful?'" he said.