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HP Blends Channel Programs Into One

The first ripple effect of the merger between Hewlett-Packard's Personal Systems Group and Imaging and Printing Group has been felt.

HP plans to consolidate its PartnerOne, Partner Prime and IPG channel programs into a program called PartnerOne HP Source.

For the first time, imaging products will count toward PartnerOne volume requirements, said Dave Pansen, vice president of U.S. distribution sales at HP, Palo Alto, Calif. PartnerOne HP Source will include HP's 20 largest solution providers, he said. The program will begin April 11.

The move should not affect most solution providers nor will it affect HP's three commercial PC distributors--Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data, he said.

PartnerOne HP Source should lead to more efficient relationships with HP, said David Ansell, vice president of manufacturer relations at ePlus Technology, a $330 million Herndon, Va.-based solution provider and Partner Prime participant.

"One of things that upset us about the Prime program was that printers were not [included]. I'm feeling positive about this," Ansell said. "To have a one-stop shop with HP will benefit us. Before, we were ordering PCs and servers from HP, then we had to go to distribution to buy the printers."

EPlus purchased more than $20 million in printers through distribution last year, Ansell said. He is unsure how much of that business will be redirected to HP.

"It's not going to stop us buying from distribution. We buy 55 percent direct, 45 percent through distribution. It will be no more than a 5-point change," he said.

EPlus's new cost for printers direct from HP appears slightly higher than its contracted price with distributors, Ansell said.

HP's pricing is intended to be non-disruptive, Pansen said. "We set the discount bars to preserve existing buying behaviors in the channel," Pansen said.

The program should not impact SMB resellers, said John Paget, North America president and COO of Synnex, Fremont, Calif.

"It's such a limited number of resellers involved, and the communications we've received are neutral around margins," Paget said. "[HP has] tried to think of the VAR community and the distribution community."

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