Supplies specialists are set to be the biggest victims of HP’s Gold partner cull, as the technology behemoth rejigs the revenue thresholds for its Preferred Partner Programme (PPP).
HP’s top partners have been calling for the vendor to slash the number of Gold partners since the top tier was introduced last year and the vendor has acted on their wishes.
For HP’s fiscal 2010, beginning November, Gold revenue thresholds have been lowered from $4.6m to $3.6m. However, supplies sales will no longer count towards the total, making it harder to make the grade.
Dave Poskett, director of the Solutions Partner Organisation UK and Ireland, said he expected the number of Gold partners to shrink, but that it would remain at more than 100. There are currently about 150 Gold partners.
“The feedback from Gold partners was that they wanted it to be more exclusive,” he said.
Stewart Hayward, commercial director of Gold partner WStore, said he expected the move to take out about 50 Gold partners.
“To be Gold you now need to be a generalist and anyone supplies-focused will not make the grade,” he said. “This makes it fairer, because when an end user approaches a Gold partner they will be guaranteed of getting a broad array of skills.”
Loay Lawrence, commercial director at Gold partner Vohkus, said: “Over the past few years we have invested heavily in our accreditations and now we are getting a return on our investment.”
PPP 2010 will allow partners to carry through their existing certifications, meaning they need only meet the new revenue criteria. HP is also bringing together its specialisations for printing hardware and supplies into one programme to encourage partners to sell both product sets.
HP introduced a linear rebate model in its fiscal second quarter, meaning partners now earn rebates from the first dollar sold, rather than for exceeding a quarterly target.
Poskett was non-committal about how long HP would stick with the new system.
“The appeal of the linear scheme is you have greater predictability,” he said. “The advantage of the old target-based model is it gives you a booster for exceeding targets. We need to look at those resellers that want to overachieve on targets.”
Poskett added that the vendor will do more promotional work around accessories such as monitors, USB sticks and bags because they are currently “very profitable” for partners.
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