HP Global Partner Conference: Top 10 PartnerOne Changes to Drive Partner Profitability

We Are Here To Announce...

Hewlett-Packard is upping the ante in the battle to deliver the most lucrative partner incentives in the industry for its PartnerOne program. Here are the top 10 new PartnerOne announcements from the company's Global Partner Conference this week.

10. Enhanced Support For International Deals

HP is making it easier for solution providers to do international deals by centralizing special pricing requests and extending PartnerOne benefits into satellite countries. The increased push comes with HP stepping up its worldwide channel efforts. HP CEO Meg Whitman, for her part, told CRN that HP's channel efforts around the world in emerging markets are critical to driving sales growth. "There is much less infrastructure in many of these countries," said Whitman. "Online ordering is much more nascent. So that personal touch, whether it is in Brazil or India or Indonesia, is important. I think the partners are really, really important here."

9. HP Financial Services Partner Connection Online Portal

HP is using its impressive financial services arm as a competitive weapon to win more deals with higher margins for partners in the ’new style IT era.’ The new Partner Connection Online Portal is two years in the making, taking up 40 percent of the business unit's technology budget over the past two years, said HP Financial Services CEO Irving Rothman. The portal provides instant quotes and credit turnaround on deals, said Rothman, with a co-marketing zone for demand generation. "This is disruptive technology," said Rothman. The new portal couldn't come at a better time for partners who are driving an increasing number of leasing/operating-expenditure-based deals.

8. A Common PartnerOne Platform

HP is stepping up its bid to simplify PartnerOne engagement with a new single foundation of simplified contracts and structure under the Unison portal for any and all partners from regional VARs to systems integration giants and even distributors and OEM partners. The aim is to have every partner on the unified Unison system over the next year. "The focus here is on ease of doing business with HP," said HP Director of Marketing for PartnerOne Strategy Patrick Eitenbichler. Partners say the common platform will not only have a big impact on reducing cost of sales, but also will make it easier for partners to play in multiple business models. "In the past, if a partner wanted to operate in four separate business models they would have had to sign four separate contracts," said Eitenbichler.

7. New Independent Software Vendor Sales Accelerator

HP is launching a new Enterprise Cloud Services SaaS Accelerator aimed at moving more innovative software offerings onto HP's public grade enterprise cloud. A new HP Virtual Private Cloud offering enables ISVs to speed time to market and reduce risk for customers by relying on HP's enterprise-grade public cloud, said Eitenbichler. "We see a tremendous need for this service for smaller ISVs who don't have the resources to make their software available via a SaaS model," he said. "We are providing partners with the advice and consulting services they need to make it happen."

6. HP Sales Tools To Help Partners Close Deals Faster

HP has invested heavily in sales playbooks to ensure best sales practices in specific solution areas. Now the company is opening those playbooks up to partners. The sales playbooks now available are virtualization, hybrid cloud, infrastructure modernization, mobility, workforce productivity, remote and branch office, big data, SMB JustRight IT, building the next generation data center for service providers, and selling to OEM customers. HP also is planning to release more playbooks, whiteboard role-playing, sales play dialogues, play cards and videos. "We want every single last partner to participate here," said Eitenbichler "This is an opportunity to leverage our sales tools to start the conversation earlier with customers and have a broader conversation as opposed to be called in for an RFP."

5. New ExpertOne Learning Management Tool

HP is unveiling a learning management tool aimed at making it easy for solution providers to identify which ExpertOne certifications they need to ensure top-tier partner status and then have it automatically assigned via the new ExpertOne Learning Management Tool. The new tool, in fact, automatically identifies engineers with prerequisite training with auto-assignment at the partner's discretion. Solution provider training managers can automatically assign and keep track of employee certifications, said Eitenbichler. "This gives partners the ability to enable their sales and presales teams with the knowledge and skills to win in the market," he said.

4. The Same Training For Direct Sales/HP Partners

HP is providing the same exact sales training for partners as its direct sales force. One sign of the times at HP: a dramatic increase in training partners and direct sales in the same session. HP is finding those joint sales training webinars are jam-packed, with not enough room to accommodate both partners and direct sales, said Eitenbichler. The single training sessions are driving a new sales dynamic, he said. "If the HP rep shows up and tells one story and the partner rep shows up the next day and tells a different story, the customer thinks, ’What is the real story?’ vs. if you get trained on the same material at the same venue it is much more effective."

3. News VIP Access For HP ExpertOne Master Certified Professionals

In an era when many vendors are cutting back on exclusive partner technical support, HP is upping the ante by providing HP ExpertOne Master certified professionals with direct VIP access to Level Two support personnel. That means access to high-level HP support engineers on a 24/7 basis spanning the full breadth and depth of the HP product portfolio with an unlimited number of calls. Partners say the HP VIP Access is worth its weight in gold, driving faster resolution of technical issues and leading to higher customer satisfaction. ’None of our competitors has this," said Eitenbichler, who tracks competitive offerings. "A couple of vendors had it many years ago and discontinued it. This is tremendous value for partners."

2. HP Unison

HP has invested more than $100 million in a channel sales transformation initiative that includes a single unified channel sales platform called Unison based on Salesforce.com. The platform, which is being formally rolled out at the Global Partner Conference, may well be the most underrated asset in HP's partner arsenal. Unison is the handiwork of HP Executive Vice President Technology and Operations John Hinshaw, a former Boeing CIO who was Whitman's first senior executive hire. The platform enables joint business planning, streamlined price quoting, deal registration MDF, demand-generation opportunity management, partner compensation visibility, and targeted alerts.

1 . HP PartnerOne For Cloud

HP is accelerating its cloud computing partner offensive by officially bringing cloud into the PartnerOne program with robust incentives and rebates under what it is calling PartnerOne for Cloud. The three new cloud specializations are HP CloudBuilder, HP CloudReseller and HP CloudProvider. HP begins rolling out the initiative on May 1 and brings them firmly into PartnerOne effective Nov. 1. HP expects a new wave of partners to hop on the cloud opportunity with thes incentives. "We are going to help our partners on every step of this cloud journey as they evolve their business models," said HP Vice President, Go To Market, HP Cloud Steven Dietch. "We are lighting a fire with this program. HP intends to be the leader in this market."