VARs Say HP SMB Discount Card Could Open Doors

"The discounts are not that interesting, but it could get us in the door and give us some talking points," said Arlin Sorensen, CEO of solution provider Heartland Technology Solutions. "Right now, anything that gets us in front of the customer with a happy message is a good thing."

HP's Total Care Access Card is a discount card solution providers can sell to their customers for $49. The card gives small businesses discounts on software downloads, subscription services and other discounts valued at $1,000, HP said.

Among the discounts and services offered are a 90-day payment deferral and leasing rates of 4.9 percent, HP's Power Manager for saving PC energy use, free recycling of one PC through HP's recycling service and a free six-month subscription to the HP Upline service that allows businesses to back up and store digital content, according to Ramona Thibeault, HP's vice president, SMB, Solution Partners Organization.

She said that the card is a promotion lasting until May 31, designed to steer SMB customers to HP's ongoing Total Care program. "We want to change the conversation so that customers go beyond the box [when buying HP products and services]," she said, adding that solution providers can make up to $39.99 in margin and receive a $5 spif for each card purchased.

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Rick Chernick, CEO of solution provider Camera Corner Connecting Point, liked the recycling benefits that come with the card and viewed the promotion as a coupon book for small business.

"I asked one of my higher-education clients what their biggest pain point was and they said getting rid of hundreds of old computers," he said. "These types of programs work and often they are a deal closer for us. This gives us an opportunity to go in and talk to customers and they don't even have to buy a computer [to get the card]."