10 Secrets To Success With HP PartnerOne

A Lesson In Channel Economics

Hewlett-Packard is turning up the competitive fire on rivals like Cisco and Dell with its new global unified PartnerOne program. Partners say the $120 billion IT behemoth is changing the economic rules with the new program. They say that the program, which is aimed at getting partners to sell an end-to-end HP product and services portfolio, has the potential to reshape the competitive landscape.

"We have had a good response from the channel to the changes that we have made here at HP and we are going to continue to make sure that we are the best partner that those channel partners can do business with," said HP CEO Meg Whitman in a recent interview with CRN.

Here are 10 secrets to succeeding with HP PartnerOne.

Attain Platinum-Level Status

The surest way to maximize PartnerOne profits is to achieve the highest tier Platinum-level status. HP's top-tier Platinum partners have the potential to earn a whopping 25 percent more in rebates than Gold-level partners, while profitability for HP partners selling the full portfolio will increase 20 percent, according to HP channel executives.

"The economic benefits for us are huge," said John Monahan, executive vice president sales and co-owner of Convergent Technologies Group, a Midlothian, Va.-based HP exclusive partner that is planning to add an additional five to seven employees to make sure it achieves top-tier HP Platinum status. "The additional [rebate] income we are going to see from the program is pure profitability as long as we stay on pace with what we are currently doing."

Sell HP Converged Infrastructure With HP Networking

HP is stepping up the battle to grab networking market share from rival Cisco with robust new incentives. An HP Platinum Converged Infrastructure Specialist selling HP networking can walk away with a 28 percent margin on a deal including 18 percent in lucrative back-end rebates (which breaks down to a 5 percent business group bonus on wireless, 7 percent accelerator after achieving 100 percent sales quota, and 6 percent base compensation). That kind of margin is going to put intense pressure on Cisco partners leveraging the networking leader's renowned 11-year-old Value Incentive Program (VIP) program.

Become An HP Cloud Builder

HP is stepping up its cloud offensive providing big rebates and incentives for HP CloudBuilders. For example, a Gold Cloud Builder/Storage Specialist selling an HP CloudSystem with 3Par Storage can earn an impressive 5.5 percent back-end rebate (comprised of a 1 percent base compensation, 2.5 percent for hitting accelerator sales quota, and 2 percent business group bonus for selling 3Par) and a 17 percent total margin. HP is also stepping up the drive to move faster on competitive bids against rivals such as Dell with a new, special bid-pricing tool aimed at providing two to four hour turnaround on special pricing requests.

Sell HP Big Data Software Vertica And Autonomy

HP's impressive big data software portfolio, including Vertica and Autonomy, is one of its most potent competitive weapons in driving partner sales growth. Partners are already seeing big sales from Vertica software, which grew at triple digit rates in the most recent quarter. HP is backing up the big data drive by making big data specializations part of Platinum, Gold (Vertica) and even Silver specializations (Autonomy).

HP's Haven big data platform is a sign of the times, with the platform rapidly gaining partner momentum with more than 120 partners already signed up to sell at least one piece of the portfolio just three months after the formal launch. Among the system integration giants that are selling and supporting the Haven platform are Accenture Analytics, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Capgemini, along with India-based IT services giant Tata Consultancy Services and NEC Asia Pacific.

Sell HP Security Software

HP Security software is front and center in specializations for both Gold and Silver partners (such as TippingPoint, AcrSight and Fortify). The specializations come in the midst of a multimillion-dollar channel sales offensive with a managed security services program that has already attracted a $15 million investment from systems integration giant Computer Sciences Corp. The security charge is being led by two former RSA executives: Rick Hanson, vice president of global sales and field operations at HP Enterprise Security, and Eli J. Kalil, vice president of HP Enterprise Security global sales channels.

Obtain ServiceOne Enterprise Certification

Hewlett-Packard is integrating its enterprise consulting and services offerings directly into PartnerOne. The ServiceOne enterprise specialization is part of the Gold and Silver specializations. The ServiceOne certification could be key as partners sell more complex solutions with the opportunity to either obtain agent commissions on the services sales fulfilled by HP Services or do the services themselves as an HP ServiceOne certified partner.

The number of solution providers offering HP ServiceOne consulting and services including data center design and cloud computing services has grown steadily as HP has integrated it into the Enterprise Group. Distributor Tech Data has also begun delivering installation and deployment services under the ServiceOne starting with 3Par storage solutions.

Double Down On Printing & Personal System Products

HP is doubling down on incentives for its Printing and Personal Systems group by rewarding partners with a multitude of new rebates and incentives. The new terms and conditions from the group include hefty incentives on the company's Elite commercial notebook line and attach accessories including rebates for the first time ever on HP printer supplies, large format printers and the popular Officejet Pro X.

Sell The Officejet Pro X

Printing is one of HP's most profitable businesses, and there may be no more lucrative opportunity in that business than the Officejet Pro X. A Printing and Personal Systems Gold partner can achieve 11.5 percent in back-end rebates for Office Jetpro X (a business group bonus of 4.5 percent or 7.5 percent depending on the SKU and base compensation with accelerator of 4 percent) with total compensation estimated at 12-15 percent. "Ink in the Office is a huge opportunity for the channel," says HP CEO Meg Whitman. "This is basically ink pricing at laser speed and laser quality. So you get the same quality as laser, the same speed as laser, at half the cost per page, which again for small to medium enterprises is a huge opportunity."

Get More HP ExpertOne Certifications

HP has gone to great lengths to make it less costly and cumbersome for partners to get more technical talent certified to sell across the HP product portfolio.

HP has not only dramatically reduced the number of certifications (in the enterprise group alone, HP's certifications will be reduced from 42 to 22), but also significantly reduced the number of training days to get the certifications. That directly impacts a solution provider's bottom line since the training eats into billable hours for the most critical technical talent. HP said its networking ASE ExpertOne certification requirement is being reduced by 40 percent from 24 training days to 14 training days. HP's Storage Master ASE requirement is being reduced by 55 percent from 31 days to 14 days. And, HP's Server ATP exam requirements are being reduced by 80 percent from five days to one day.

Sell A Full End-To-End HP Solution

The stackable rebates and rewards in the new PartnerOne are a game-changer for HP exclusive partners. Partners says the new PartnerOne marks the first time ever the $120 billion IT product and services giant has brought together all its might and muscle into a unified partner program with robust rewards for partners selling a full end-to-end HP solutions portfolio. They say there has never been as much money put on the table by any vendor for partners selling and end-to-end solution. HP channel executives say the company's top-tier Platinum partners have the potential to earn a whopping 25 percent more in rebates than the next Gold-level tier with profitability for partners selling the full portfolio increasing by 20 percent. It's those kind of numbers that has some calling the new PartnerOne a watershed moment for HP and the industry.