HP To Double Server Rebates For SMB Accounts

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"We were paying same amount regardless of where the deal was, whether it was the midmarket or enterprise space," said Tom LaRocca, vice president of partner development and programs for HP's Solution Partners Organization Americas. "Now we will pay the same amount in the enterprise but double if the deal goes into the midmarket space."

As a result, rebates for ISS sales to new customers in small and midsize businesses and the public sector would go from about 4 percent to 8 percent, according to solution providers.

LaRocca said the rebates apply to HP's Partner One New Business Opportunity, which includes competitive wins or current HP accounts that want to consolidate servers and switch from HP tower or rack servers to blades.

"Our sales reps can go out, and it takes six to 12 months [to win new HP accounts]," said Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner Connecting Point, an HP solution provider in Green Bay, Wisc. "At least we know if we do get the deal, we'll get a little more help on the back end. It's encouraging. The most important thing I grasp from what they are doing is that they are listening to partners."

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HP defines the midmarket as any account outside its named direct accounts, LaRocca said. "What you will hear from us in first-half 2007 is that we want to get partners to focus more and more on the midmarket and SMB space," he said.

Also on Nov. 1, HP aims to launch a Blade Elite program that's similar to Elite programs it has for storage, ProCurve and Business Critical Systems.

"We want to work with partners who are selling a significant amount of blades so they can get the proper training and certification credentials and enjoy the financial rewards," LaRocca said.

The Blade Elite program and enhanced rebate structure are part of an overall refresh of HP's Partner One channel program, which is set to launch at the beginning of HP's fiscal year.

In addition, HP said it will expand from three to five the number of levels in its Attach Plus rebate program, launched last May to lower the steps necessary to earn incremental rebate dollars by attaching more HP content to a single deal. HP also said it will expand the number of levels in Attach Plus rebates for services from four to six.

"Partners were telling us that if they were at level one, it was kind of hard to get to level two, and if I'm at level two, it's hard to get to level three," LaRocca said. "And they told us if you guys had incremental steps in between, it would give me more incentive and more motivation to keep climbing that ladder."

LaRocca said the new levels represent an increase in the rebates paid, rather than a dilution of payments made under the previous program by spreading them over more levels.