Hewlett Packard (HP) is in talks with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) about establishing common standards of reseller education and practice. Analysts have said the move could help stamp out bad practice in the industry.
Speaking exclusively to Computer Reseller News, David Smith, HP's UK small business manager, said the company has been working closely with the Government and is revamping its own nationwide training scheme over the next three months.
He claimed that the talks could eventually lead to the establishment of independent DTI 'kite marks' for approved resellers, and the establishment of an end user standards charter.
"Reseller contracts can be worth millions of pounds, so it makes sense to try and establish industry ground rules. It is all about raising the bar to establish a positive business experience," said Smith.
Further details of the scheme were unavailable at the time of going to press, and the DTI declined to comment. It is not known if other vendors have been involved in the talks with the DTI.
In addition, HP is completely reworking its partner accreditation programme with the roll out of a nationwide chain of training offices dubbed Centres of Excellence. They will provide mandatory training to the firm's network of over 10,000 UK resellers.
Sandy Fitzpatrick, a senior analyst at Canalys.com, said the DTI's initiative could help improve standards in the channel.
"The industry has never had this sort of widespread regulation before," she said. "If the two can work together there is a strong chance that there will be nationwide benefits. Resellers will have pre-set standards to live up to and end users will know exactly what quality of service they can expect."
In conjunction with its training office launch, HP will release two mobile and desktop PC bundles aimed at the business and education sectors that come with guaranteed 20 per cent reseller margins.
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