HP Adds SMB Elite Status To Partner Program

"We are aggressively targeting the SMB space," said Meaghan Kelly, who heads the SMB partner channel in the HP Americas Solution Partners Organization (SPO). "We see it as a $68 billion opportunity in the U.S., growing at a rate of 4 percent to 7 percent."

HP on Wednesday added an SMB Elite classification to its Partner One Elite program for select channel resellers. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has also extended its deal registration benefits to its entire business partner base, effective March 1, offering access to the HP catalog of deal registration tools that was previously only available to larger partners.

"SMB Elite is intended for high-growth partners who've demonstrated the ability to sell to SMBs. They'll be eligible for unique deals and we'll give them help on customer leads and access to other SMB lead-focused programs," Kelly said.

HP Preferred Partners will be eligible to apply for the SMB Elite program on May 1. Existing Partner One Elite categories include such areas of expertise as virtualization, SAP solutions and enterprise storage.

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By opening up full deal registration benefits to the more than 25,000 partners in its U.S. channel, HP hopes to give its SMB-focused partners the advantages larger partners have found in deal registration tools like the New Business Opportunity and Commercial Target rebate programs, Kelly said.

"HP relies heavily on our channel partner community to reach out to SMBs. We doubled the amount of sales support for partners with SMB reach in the past year. And I can tell you from an SMB perspective, that they're using all sorts of products but they're also moving towards standardization, where they want one vendor to supply their IT," she said.