HP To Partners: Lead With The Full Portfolio
Frank Rauch, vice president of ESSN Channel sales, says HP's converged infrastructure strategy is aimed at rewarding partners for being the lead in multiple product categories. What's more, he says, HP is currently "looking at other financial programs we can do to either incent the partner at the deal level or to be able to incent the partner in aggregate to be able to sell more of the HP portfolio."
For partners looking to capture margin by registering deals the full product portfolio proposition could mean they face competition from other HP partners if they do not go to the table with the full HP product portfolio.
Rauch says if a partner registers only a subset of the HP product portfolio under the HP deal registration program the company will "put another partner in there to be able to compete for those other product categories."
Some HP partners say they are already feeling the repercussions from what they see as HP's full product portfolio deal registration offensive.
One top HP partner, who did not want to be identified, said he recently registered a deal for blades and storage and was pressed by his HP rep to add HP networking including HP ProCurve and even register the VMware portion of the deal through HP.
“They said if you’re not going to do all four of those lines, essentially ESSN, we’re not giving you the storage and server registration," said the partner. "And we told them that we were already displacing another [server and storage] with this solution, but that we have to be receptive to what the client wants. We can’t force ProCurve on them.”
HP ultimately gave the deal registration to another HP partner bringing the full HP product portfolio to the table, said the solution provider.
“It’s gotten very sticky, very uncomfortable that that’s the type of approach we have seen since HP made war against Cisco,” said the VAR. "Do you really need to be so zealous here? If your solution is the best and an industry standard, that’s great. But let’s evolve together and not force it. It’s creating unproductive selling behavior.”
Rauch, for his part, says there has been "no lack of clarity" from the HP sales team on the full portfolio message.
In fact, he says, HP will continue to look at full HP portfolio programs "whether they be at the macro level meaning in aggregate growth type of (channel) programs or whether they be at the micro level which would be more of a deal based type of program,etc. to be able to find ways to incent partners to be able to do that (sell the full HP product portfolio)."