HP Teams Up With Nvidia To Offer Amplify Partners ‘AI MasterClass’ Training

The AI MasterClass program is one of the few enhancements HP Inc. announced for its Amplify partner program at the Amplify Partner Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

HP Inc. plans to launch a new AI training and certification program for channel partners, and it has teamed up with Nvidia to develop the initial courses.

Called Future Ready AI MasterClass, the program is powered by PC and print giant’s HP University, and it will cover a “range of topics designed to equip partners with the knowledge they need to educate and advise customers on the right AI products and solutions to meet their needs,” according to the company.

[Related: HP Brings Poly, Distributors Into Amplify Program, Vowing New Era Of Partner Growth]

The AI MasterClass program is one of the few enhancements HP announced for its Amplify partner program at the Amplify Partner Conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The other changes include the introduction of Amplify Growth Plays for areas like AI data science and digital services as well as a “simplified” membership architecture.

In an interview with CRN, HP Global Channel Chief Kobi Elbaz (pictured) called AI MasterClass a “first-in-the-industry” program that will feature training courses and certifications tailored for specific roles in a channel partner’s organization, whether they’re technical- or sales-oriented.

Set to launch on May 1, the program is set to come online as the company seeks to challenge rivals in the AI PC space with differentiated security offerings as part of a broader plan to make AI a core element of the company’s portfolio, whether it’s using AI technologies to improve products and services or providing products and services to enable AI workloads.

“Our partners need to feel confident when [serving] the customer an AI solution on the edge [that they’re giving] them the right solution,” said Elbaz, who became senior vice president and general manager of global channel, sales innovation and operations last fall.

While HP is initially developing courses and certifications in partnership with Nvidia, the company plans to create additional programming with other alliance partners in the future.

The vendor announced an expanded partnership with Nvidia at last fall’s inaugural HP Imagine 2023 event, where it announced that it would offer the first “dedicated workstation” solutions bundled with the Nvidia AI Enterprise software suite for AI developers and data scientists.

“Our work with HP will help empower their partners to utilize HP products and solutions, powered by Nvidia, to cater to customer AI needs across the entire channel ecosystem,” said Bob Petter, vice president of enterprise platforms at Nvidia, in a statement.

Amplify Growth Plays

Announced last fall, Amplify Growth Plays is a new program built around the company’s strategic growth areas that will provide unique tools, market development funds, other kinds of resources and compensation to partners who invest in certain categories.

HP said on Wednesday that Growth Plays will launch in May with four focus areas: AI data science, digital services, video collaboration and active care services.

According to Elbaz, a key element of the program is for HP and participating partners to make joint investments to bring products and services in these growth areas to market.

“It’s a stronger kind of relationship. It’s not just, we give you the product, you go. We’re working together end-to-end to better serve the customer,” he said.

Mary Beth Walker, head of HP’s global channel strategy, elaborated on how a channel partner would work with the vendor around a Growth Play.

“We will test for those capabilities in that partner and if they have the right capabilities, then we'll start the conversation about, OK, we see there being this much growth, let's create the joint business plan around that. Let's look at how we're going to actually create demand and actually start to work together on an initiative based on that,” she said.

‘Simplified’ Membership Architecture

In an effort to simplify the “Amplify partner membership architecture,” the company said it plans to merge the Power and Power Services tiers starting in May.

As a result, the program will have only two tiers. The first tier, Synergy, “is built for all partners and offers base compensation, sales training, and specific portfolio benefits designed for specialization.” The second, Power, is built for partners who receive additional benefits in exchange for collaborating with HP and making additional investments.

This, in turn, means HP will move existing Power Services partners, who are focused on managed services delivery, into the Power tier, but those partners won’t lose any specific benefits tied to their services capabilities, Elbaz said.

HP is also introducing new distinctions for partners in Power tier: Power Elite and Global Power Elite, which recognizes those who “operate on a large scale and deliver significant revenue and capabilities,” according to the company.

In addition to the changes to the Power tier, HP is simplifying the Synergy tier so that any partner in that track can access the company’s entire portfolio, including all of its services.

“You can be in Synergy or Power and get the same access if you have the right capabilities and you're willing to do the certification,” Elbaz said.