Just one year after PartnerOne was announced, Hewlett-Packard (HP) has admitted that its "revolutionary" channel strategy was too complicated and is set to introduce changes next month to simplify it.
At last week's PartnerOne anniversary conference, the vendor announced that it had given out over $175m in pay-for-results (PFR) partner bonuses.
It said it plans to increase channel turnover by paying its salesforce on a 'sell-out' basis, rather than 'sell-in'.
HP also unveiled its Total Customer Experience initiative, where HP will interview random customers to check that its partners are performing properly.
The vendor also launched a scathing attack on rival Dell, claiming that it was "not doing that well in Europe".
Over the past year, HP has come under fire from the channel for sending out confusing messages about its strategy, but it claimed that it has now taken on board partners' comments.
Jos Brenkel, vice-president of commercial channel and SMB business EMEA, said: "When we started PartnerOne we were perhaps a little arrogant. It is important to look back over the past year and see what we did well or badly. We have listened closely to the channel."
One of the biggest changes is the vendor's intention to shrink from 10 different business groups to just three: printing, computing volume and computing value.
Brenkel claimed that the move would make it easier for partners to claim rewards. He also admitted that HP expects to see more consolidation in its EMEA channel.
"About 20 per cent of our channel has not received PFR over the past year. I think we will be doing business with fewer partners in 2004," he said.
Greg Spierkel, president of Ingram Micro Europe, welcomed the changes. "When it comes down to a more simplified model it is going to help us and our partners to simplify our businesses. The HP model is something that mirrors the current marketplace," he said.
Baerbel Schmidt, executive board member at distributor Actebis, said: "The simplification of the programme shows HP has listened to its partners."
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