Hewlett-Packard (HP) expects to lose a further 15 to 20 per cent of its EMEA Preferred Channel Partners as it gears up to launch the 2007 phase of its Preferred Partner Programme (PPP).
HP also revealed at its Preferred Partner Conference in Barcelona last week that it is launching a Gold-level status under its PPP next year.
Jos Brenkel, vice-president, Solution Partners Organisation EMEA at HP, said: “We set out our strategy which was all around growth, profitability and customer satisfaction.
“Last year we said we wanted to work only with committed partners. When we launch the new phase of PPP we expect a further 15 to 20 per cent of our partners to drop out, but we will also be recruiting some new ones.”
During the vendor’s European conference in Amsterdam last year, Brenkel announced a cull of unfocused partners (CRN, 25 January 2005). At the time he said up to 2,000 UK partners could face the axe.
Since last year, HP claimed it has invested $200m in channel compensation schemes across EMEA, $8m in certification and training, $100m in co-marketing activities and $30m in channel programmes and capabilities.
Speaking from the US via satellite, Mark Hurd, chief executive of HP, said: “We are scaling up our sales force. I wish we had partners that are totally dedicated to HP. We have not always been as easy to do business with as we could be and sometimes we can be too bureaucratic, but we are working on key objectives to help our business and we need your help. We still need to gain market share.”
Mark O’Hara, managing director at HP reseller Hydra, said: “I’m not surprised HP’s partner numbers may drop. All of the big vendors let every man and his dog partner with them in the late nineties, and now they are trying to cut back as there is no value in their channels anymore.”
However, one reseller source said: “This culling of partners could be one way for HP to cut its costs, which it has been trying to do. Regarding the Gold status, this is simply more hoops for HP resellers to have to jump through.”
See next week’s CRN for more details.
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