Further shake up is expected in the Hewlett-Packard (HP) channel next year, as the vendor prepares to launch its Gold Preferred Partner level (CRN, 25 September), and tie in its direct sales with its channel partners.
Speaking to CRN, David Poskett, director, Solutions Partner Organisation UK and Ireland at HP, said in the fourth quarter of 2006 the UK became HP’s best performing country.
“We had a lot of positive feedback from resellers, which pushed our internal loyalty index up 44 per cent over the year,” he said. “I am very proud of what we have done over the past year, but we can’t afford to get complacent and we still have targets for next year.”
The New Year will see the launch of the Gold-level certification aimed at the vendor’s top-level partners. Dan Hitchen, HP business manager at VAR Basilica, said: “At the moment there is the Premier level, with specialistions in revenue and skills within specific areas. The Gold level was announced at the HP Partner Summit in September, but we have yet to find out any real details. It will identify the more committed partners to HP.”
The vendor is also extending the relationship between its direct sales force and the channel by launching its Direct Plus, which will allow selected VARs to wrap services and support around products sold direct by HP.
“At present everything under 1,500 seats is a channel play, and above that it has been a mix of direct and indirect,” Poskett said. “We plan to make this more partner-centric with Direct Plus. However, we are committed to all our resellers, and that includes those selling in the SME market as well as the enterprise space.”
Hitchen said: “The scheme is an additional route to market for growing our HP business. We are currently evaluating the commercial viability of introducing it into our business, but there is no commitment yet.”
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