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HP: do box shifters have a future? Hmmm, maybe not a bright one

PC and print programme overhaul for break away biz

HP GPC 2015 The break away HP Inc - the PC and print business - is polishing off a brand spanking new channel programme that it says for the first time will not only favour those transacting huge volumes of kit.

The as yet unnamed framework - HP is going public on the branding tomorrow - will include three tracks: Volume, Value and Alliance (the latter is effectively for systems integrators (SIs) that bring related services to the table).

Thomas Jenson, veep of worldwide channel sales for HP Printing and Personal Systems Group, said the scheme will be up and running from 1 November when it becomes a standalone business.

“There might be a lot of box movers that need to build the right capability to succeed,” he told us, “advanced partners see they must move with the market’s need or they may not have a future”.

"Over the next two to three years you will see a siginifcant proportion of revenues coming from the Value stream."

He said resellers should be paid for sales and technical certifications because it supposed to denote a certain level of competence.

This plays to agenda being set by the global boss of HP's PC and print operations, Dion Weisler, who told us last year he was not interested in chasing low-margin business for the sake of top line gains.

In the Value segment, HP will set certain revenue and certification thresholds that, if met, means those resellers pocket a sales rebates and get access to MDF, something they might not have achieved previously. The thresholds have yet to be defined, we are told, but will be on a country by country basis.

The certifications will initially be based around Mobility and Managed Print Services with more to be added. A specific track for specific vertical markets specialists will also be rolled out, said Jenson.

“We are looking at the workflow of staff.”

A three-year roadmap of “solutions” aimed at specific sectors will be included as HP reckons customers don’t want to buy just a box but something that is built to solve a particular business need.

“The ability to bring solutions to market has been a buzz word but at the end of the day all manufacturers brought out products and just put them into bundles, it was not a true solution,” said Jenson.

This all sounds like a sensible plan from HP but more meat is needed around the bones ahead of launch - the company has seven and a half months to do this.

The new programme will also be less rigid in requiring volume driven partners to achieve thresholds to make a certain tier - Platinum, Gold or Silver - meaning a reseller could have Gold certification for PCs and Platinum for Print.

The thresholds for Volume are also being considered on a country by country basis, and Jenson provided no hints as to the likely make-up of this.

The programme will, however, still “cater for volume business”, the exec said.

SIs that sell product will be classified under the Value stream but those that influence the sale, provide consulting and other services but don’t necessarily flog the hardware will be classed under Alliance. Updated HP has confirmed the programme is called HP Inc Partner First. ®

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