HP ProCurve Doubles Channel Spending Amidst Growth Spurt

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Hewlett-Packard's ProCurve Networking by HP division will be doubling its investment in its channel during the coming fiscal year, which it is ringing in with the launch of a revamped partner program on November 1.

"We're investing in our channel program to reward partners by performance, certification and product mix. We're doubling our investment in 2008 in terms of the money we're putting in the market," said Wenceslao Lada, vice president and Americas general manager at HP ProCurve, during at the vendor's ProCurve 2007 Power Through Partnerships Program, a solution provider conference held last week in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

HP ProCurve this year invested four percent to five percent of its total revenue in its channel; in the coming year, the company has earmarked 10 percent of its total revenue for channel spending, he said.

With the additional investment and new program, HP ProCurve, Palo Alto, Calif., aims to provide channel partners with a fairer reward system, more co-op marketing funds and an improved process for handling sales leads, Lada said. The company is also changing its policy around two-tier distribution, now requiring all partners to buy through distributors.

"We are a channel organization. We don't sell direct, so if you are not successful, next year there is no ProCurve. It's as simple as that," Lada told channel partners during a keynote address at the event.

The channel changes come as ProCurve is adjusting to keep up with sales growth, Lada said, noting that the company's goal for fiscal 2008 is to increase revenue by 35 percent compared to this year. Partners have seen some challenges working with the vendor as a result of the growth, some of which the new program will help to address, Lada said.

"They've been growing very quickly, so they have challenges in the field. They've got some work to do on the training side, and they have to get their name out there as a network alternative or option against Cisco," said Don Wisdom, president of Datalink Networks, a ProCurve Elite partner based in Santa Clarita, Calif. "HP realizes that to grow, they have to make their partners successful."

The company also continues to broaden its product portfolio, a move channel partners said is critical in order for ProCurve to position itself against rival Cisco Systems. The vendor recently launched its first core network switch to carry a lifetime warranty.

NEXT: More money to line partners' pockets

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