With less than a month to go until the official launch of Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) PartnerOne channel scheme, HP is reluctant to reveal the names of the companies in its final distribution line-up.
All of its 14 distributors will become Channel Development Partners, but only a handful have been chosen as Logistics Service Providers (LSPs), as part of the vendor's drive to streamline its logistics and supply chain.
Confusion has been rife since HP announced its plans to bring its partners together under one umbrella following its acquisition of Compaq. However, the vendor has claimed that all partners are now aware of their role.
"We cannot reveal which partners are LSPs until all of the contracts have been returned," said Andy Vickers, channel SMB director at HP.
Vickers added that HP is planning to invest $20m in joint marketing for the channel over the next 12 months, although he added that HP also expects its channel to invest about the same amount.
"We will also provide more marketing development funds and pay-for-results initiatives to encourage partners," he said.
David Quin, marketing manager at distributor A2000, said: "HP has had a difficult job trying to unify two partner programmes, but it is clear to us how things are taking shape."
John Toal, sales director at OpenPSL, said: "It's a huge change for HP and its channel. While it may not get everything right the first time round, I'm sure there will be tweaks in the future that will sort out any problems.
"People are always wary of change, but once they get used to it, they become more comfortable. This is what will happen with PartnerOne."
However, one distributor, who asked to remain anonymous, said: "The HP channel needed tidying up because a lot of partners were not doing a good job.
"But going on past experience with HP and the amount of confusion that has been caused along the way, it will be interesting to see how it works in practice."
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