HP Gives Partners Green Light To Sell Sprout 3-D Computer

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday said solution providers later this month will have the opportunity to start selling its innovative Sprout immersive 3-D computer.

Up until now, Sprout was available only from select retailers, including Best Buy and Microsoft retail stores and the Home Shopping Network.

HP bills Sprout as the world's first immersive computer, opening the door to breaking down the barriers between physical and digital worlds. The product is already being used in education environments for customized learning and collaboration.

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Sprout is one of the products being championed by 15-year Apple engineering veteran Eric Monsef, who joined HP two years ago.

Hewlett-Packard said it was mounting the commercial channel offensive in response to demand from solution providers that see Sprout as a potential game changer in education, creative professions and enhanced collaboration.

Ann Avery, North America director for Commercial Solutions of HP's Printing and Personal System Group, said she expects partners to find new avenues for Sprout in commercial accounts. "Over the next six months, we are going to be exposed to a lot of use cases and different workflows we haven't even thought of," she said. "We expect partners working with their customers to help build out Sprout."

HP said there is a waiting list for customers looking to pilot the product.

Sprout sales through partners will be eligible for all of the workstation incentives under HP PartnerOne including rebates, said Avery. The Internet list price of the commercial version of the product will be $1,949.
Avery said she sees a "significant" opportunity for partners bringing Sprout to market in specialized markets like education.

Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 234 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, said he was heartened to see that HP was bringing Sprout to solution providers.

"There is no question that the solution provider community is the best fit to deliver these types of offerings based on our ability to bring it to market with software and services," he said. "That is what makes the channel so valuable to customers. It's good to see HP's continued focus and effort to support channel partners. That's what make HP the company that it is."

Venero said he sees a potential market in CAD/CAM, where systems like Sprout just a few years ago would have been priced in the range of $10,000. "Sprout is another great example of the evolution of the workstation market," he said.