HP Tweaking Server, Mobile PC Channel Programs

That's the message from two HP executives to solution providers attending the XChange Tech Innovators conference on Monday.

On the server side, HP is planning to expand its Value Big Deal special-pricing to include its new 4-way ProLiant servers starting Nov. 1.

The company is also looking to increase the collaboration between HP's direct and indirect sales channels for its mobile PCs.

HP wants to expand its Value Big Deal program to areas where it makes sense, said Efrain Rovira, vice president of HP's Industry Standard Services Americas Business Unit.

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Under that program, HP promises to protect the solution provider who first registers a potential deal, Rovira said.

The program was expanded to blade servers a few months ago after being originally focused on enterprise storage and server products, including HP's Integrity series family, Rovira said. "We're trying to maximize the opportunities for [solution providers] and drive more business for us," he said.

Keith LeFebvre, vice president and general manager of HP's Personal Systems Group Americas, said his organization plans to restructure how it deals with channel issues by increasing the communication between its direct and indirect channel organizations.

The goal is to make it easier for HP and its solution providers to compete against direct vendors, LeFebvre said. "This will let us go out collaboratively in a lot of places Dell can't go," he said.

Despite the lack of details about the program, the move is already starting to get the interest of Stephen Monteros, general manager of GST, a Brea, Calif.-based solution provider.

Monteros said that HP has been making strides in how its direct and indirect sales channel organizations interact with each other. "But it looks like they will be doing more," he said. "This is important because we need to know what the direct sales side is doing, and to make sure they don't step on our toes."

Expanding the Value Big Deal to 4-way servers is also important because of how difficult HP has made it to get special pricing on many of the products that GST sells, Monteros said.

"Now, several resellers can be part of a deal if you register a deal, because HP wants to leverage the playing field," he said. "You could get CDW on your price list. Our mission is to spec the deal, and not worry about protection. It's good to see HP do this with their new 4-way servers."

John Longwell contributed to this story.