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HP Targets Partner Friendliness With Merging Of Online Portals

The company will begin gradually consolidating its Partner First and Sales Central portals to reduce the number of sites that partners need to access.

HP Inc. is seeking to make life easier for channel partners by bringing together its two main online partner sites into a single platform.

At its Reinvent 2019 partner conference this week in Houston, HP is announcing that its Partner First portal and its seller-focused Sales Central platform will be consolidated into a single site.

[Related: 5 Takeaways From HP Execs On Products, Channel And Diversity]

The merging of the two sites will not take place immediately, and instead will have a "soft roll," said Dave Lobato, head of worldwide digital sales engagement platforms at HP.

To date, Sales Central has focused on providing tools, content and other resources to partner sellers, while the Partner First portal has been HP’s hub for administrative functions for channel partners.

Starting in April, HP will start to add features from the Partner First portal to the Sales Central site, Lobato said. Features will continue to be added over the following six to eight months, he said.

During those six to eight months, the Partner First portal will continue to function the same until the merger is complete, Lobato said.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP is making the move to consolidate its partner sites as part of its "journey to continue to drive a seamless sales experience, and reduce [partners'] touch points," he said.

The consolidated sites should "make the engagement model simpler" for partners, Lobato said during a briefing with reporters and analysts.

Whenever partners "have multiple touch points when they conduct their business with us, reducing that helps them to be more efficient and effective," he said.

The consolidated portal will also be highly configurable, with individual users able to customize their dashboard by moving tiles around based on what is most important to them, Lobato said.

Andy Jones, CEO of MCPc, a Cleveland-based HP partner said he welcomed the consolidated partner sites--though he said that HP's portals are already comparatively easy to navigate and get information from. With the move, "they're taking 'better' and making it the best," he said.

Overall, Jones said he rates HP highly for its engagement with the channel in recent years.

HP has been "staying the course of a channel-first model," he said. "When they say they're committed to the channel, their actions and deeds match the words."

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