Channel programs News

CRN Exclusive: D&H Launches Training, Incentive Blitz To Double Its HPE Business Within Next Year

Michael Novinson

D&H Distributing is looking to double its HPE business in the next 12 months by deploying an array of vendor-specific training, incentives and quoting capabilities.

The Harrisburg, Penn.-based distributor said it is laser-focused on growing wallet share among HPE's entry-level partners by getting them to resell the vendor's entire product portfolio and moving them up the medallion stack through additional sales and certifications, according to Greg King, senior director of D&H's HPE business unit.

D&H today represents just 1 percent of HPE's channel today, King said, and is focused on selling to owner-operated businesses with less than 100 seats. There's an area where HPE believes there's a lot of room to grow, King said.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: D&H Distributing Rolls Out Extended Credit Lines As Part Of Larger Push To Help Partners Win]

"There is so much underpenetrated business out there for HPE among this class of customers," King told CRN exclusively. "Of all the distributors, we're the closest to the SMB space."

D&H has doubled its dedicated HPE workforce to 10 employees over the past three months in an effort to become more outbound-focused and less reactive, King said. The distributor plans to target the 9,000 entry-level HPE partners not doing any business with D&H today, according to King.

"Before that, we just didn't have the bandwidth to focus on that [proactive recruitment]," King said. "Now, we want to scale our business to match our growth in resources."

Three-quarters of D&H's sales are to solution providers in the lowest level of HPE's partner program or resellers not working with HPE at all today, according to King. HPE is focused on putting resources into its gold and platinum partners, King said, and wants its distributors to focus on accounts where there's not a dedicated HPE field manager.

King said D&H is in communication with its existing Dell reseller base to explain the benefits of its HPE offering. The distributor is authorized to resell Dell's client products, King said, but not its enterprise portfolio.

Knowledge has been the biggest barrier to D&H partners selling more HPE products, King said, with many solution providers finding they have to put in hours of labor before getting to a price. D&H is committed to helping partners come up with the right price more quickly by helping them better leverage HPE's programs, King said.

Although D&H won't interfere with HPE's deal registration pricing, King said the distributor is giving them the necessary funds to go after the competition.

"We're going to be working with these partners to make sure they can win business with their end users over the phone," King said. "It gives them a fighting chance to get competitive against Dell and the other competition out there."

Partners looking to participate in D&H's HPE program are asked to go through a four-hour online certification covering the vendor's product sets, financial services, and web-based automated quoting function, King said. D&H is looking to provide pricing and certifications that would benefit new or lower-tier HPE partners.

"We are serving up the content in a very digestible way," King said.

D&H will be presenting results of its HPE push to the vendor on a monthly basis, King said, as well as sharing a lot of info with D&H Co-Presidents Dan and Michael Schwab, who King said are very close to the program.

All told, King said D&H's new initiative should take the complication out of HPE and provide partners with a simpler way of understanding the vendor's products and programs. As a result, King said D&H should be able to help partners grow from being small HPE customers today to larger ones in the future.

Bridgehead IT said D&H's product knowledge and deep support around HPE would help the San Antonio, Texas-based HPE reseller enhance its business model, according to a statement from Chief Procurement Officer Julia Kester.

Specifically, Kester said D&H's program would allow Bridgehead to accelerate its networking sales by providing the solution provider with the tools needed to implement a new series of networking solutions that bring more value to the SMB office environment.

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