HP Funds New CDW Effort To Target SMB Accounts

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The HP call center's direct sales efforts were scrapped several years ago after the plan created numerous conflicts with HP's SMB channel partners. The call center staff now supports channel partner sales only. As part of the new CDW deal, the memo states HP will supply a target customer list to the CDW employees made up of 499 or fewer employees. "The list will be derived by comparing Dun and Bradstreet's customer list against historical sales of HP products through HP direct, HP channel partners and CDW," the memo said. "The result will be more than 500,000 net new customers for CDW to target."

Other, smaller HP SMB solution providers were caught off guard by the new CDW/HP alliance. "We have begged for leads and help and nothing has come if it," said one HP SMB solution provider executive, who asked not to be identified. "It kind of destroys our efforts of alliance and#91;between HP and SMB partnersand#93;."

CDW and HP channel executives did not return calls seeking comment.

The alliance, set to commence next month, will be fully implemented by January 2009, according to the memo from CDW Executive Vice President Jim Shanks.

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The memo said in part, "We are taking our HP partnership to the next level with a new CDW-HP Alliance team. CDW plans to add 110 salespeople who will specialize in selling HP servers, storage, notebooks, desktops, printing and imaging."

The memo further stated that while the new CDW/HP sales people will focus exclusively on HP products, "if the customer requires a competing product, the Alliance salespeople will refer the lead to designated non-HP Alliance teams at CDW to process and sell," the memo said.