Hewlett-Packard (HP) partners have just two more weeks to sign controversial contracts or risk losing out on special pricing on the vendor's products.
The deadline for Sales and Services Partner agreements is 1 March. Unless contracts are returned by that date, partners will not get access to Order Processing Guidelines or special bid pricing. The agreements highlight partner requirements such as training and maintaining serial numbers on products.
They also warn that HP can audit a partner at any given time and at the partner's expense if any "financial discrepancies" are discovered.
One channel partner, who requested anonymity, said: "We are a little concerned by some of the terms and have asked for more clarification before signing. A lot of resellers have just signed it and sent it back because they cannot afford to lose their HP business, but we don't feel asking questions is unreasonable."
Last month, HP revealed it was looking to cull about 2,000 UK partners in a bid to clean up its channel and give the firm a boost in its fight against IBM and Dell. The company has played down a host of rumours, including speculation about internal and channel restructuring, since chief executive Carly Fiorina left recently.
David Poskett, director of the solution partners organisation at HP UK, reaffirmed the vendor's commitment to the channel.
"HP is focused more than ever on driving business through resellers. We already have a large number of contracts back. The reason for them is to achieve consistency and make sure we give additional discounts to VARs working on big deals and who want to invest in HP," he said.
John Toal, director of sales at distributor OpenPSL, said: "HP is now discussing options with the channel that it never did before, and it is listening to what the channel has to say."
However, Ian Brooks, managing director of reseller ibbd, said HP still needs to clear up its indirect/direct strategy. "We are getting mixed signals about HP's strategy against Dell, and a little more clarification would be welcome," he said.
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