HP partners wishing to attain or hold onto their storage specialisation are facing a race against time to gain skills in 3Par technology.
The vendor acquired the storage specialist less than four months ago and has rushed to include its technology in the Preferred Partner programme (PPP). Some partners have indicated to ChannelWeb that the tight deadlines for getting trained up have put them in them in a tricky spot.
Kevin Matthews (pictured), HP's UK and Ireland channel manager for enterprise storage, servers and networking, claimed partners had demanded the vendor act quickly to get 3Par training up and running.
"We have integrated the 3Par into the PPP more quickly than we did with the LeftHand products so that we can get the partners trained up and they can get compensation more quickly," he added "In my interactions with partners there has been an insatiable appetite to get trained up.
"We have given them the standard amount of time, which is a quarter. When you introduce a product like 3Par, you may put some demands on partners. If a partner has an issue, then we are flexible."
Simon Aron, joint managing director at Gold partner Eurodata Systems, claimed his firm has a narrow six-week window to bring in or develop 3Par technical expertise. He added that all manufacturers are prone to making far-fetched demands of partners, but that most, including HP, are helpful.
"The bottom line is people like Eurodata are running a business and it is when manufacturers are not reasonable that we have a major problem," he said. "In our experience, most manufacturers do extend [deadlines]. But nearly all of them get it wrong first time."
Warwick Everett, director of fellow Gold partner Freestyle IT, claimed PPP placed more stringent demands on resellers this year. He added that smaller firms like his could be affected.
"My perception is that the resource required to obtain specialisations may have increased with the PPP 2011, which makes it much easier for larger partners," he added.
"A reseller could have a technical services department of 50 engineers with three dedicated to HP specialisations and the other 47 focused on IBM, but still get Gold partner accredited. We are a much smaller organisation and could have three engineers all devoted to HP, and there is no differentiation between the two."
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