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HP Mounts Effort To Reduce Partner Costs

Hewlett-Packard Senior Vice President of Worldwide SMB Operations Kevin Gilroy last week said HP is mounting a massive effort to make it simpler and less costly for HP partners to do business with the $80 billion behemoth.

"We will turn over every rock to take SG&A expenses that [are] not adding value to HP and its partners," he asserted. "We will be the easiest partner to do business with. We want speed and tempo as a competitive weapon."

The changes HP has planned include an electronic funds transfer initiative that will significantly improve partners' cash flow by providing payments to partners participating in the vendor's agent program five to six days faster than through the mail with paper checks, Gilroy said. HP is also launching a new HP Partner Portal that will go into effect Aug. 16. The portal is one of the largest IT investments HP has made in recent years and one of the largest Siebel CRM implementations in the world, he said.

Gilroy conceded that costs may be lower for solution providers working with Dell, but he said that's because the HP competitor has "no business controls, no paperwork, no certification, no Total Customer Experience (TCE) process."

"But you could have degradation in the channel experience to the end user. We don't want the broader channel to be damaged," Gilroy said.

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