HP has unveiled its first partner programme tailored to cloud service providers and will compensate its sales staff for collaborating with them.
CloudAgile officially launches globally today, although a pilot has been running with 10 UK partners for two months. The aim is to encourage service providers – as well as resellers that are moving into cloud provision – to use HP's x86 servers and 3PAR storage in their datacentres.
The UK pilot partners are Attenda, Carrenza, Global Crossing, Intechnology, Outsourcery, Savvis, SCC, Star, Sungard Availability Services and UKFast.
CloudAgile partners will net access to standard benefits such as market development funds, partner account managers and online resources, but will also be fed leads from HP's SMB sales team in Scotland. In addition, they will be encouraged to draw on HP's wider channel and sell through smaller HP partners.
Kevin Matthews, UK&I Enterprise Storage, Server and Networking channel manager (pictured), said HP's decision to reward sales staff for referring opportunities was crucial.
"One of the key differentiators is the concept of collaboration," he told ChannelWeb. "We have recognised that cloud is gaining traction and that we have to adapt our own sales force and maximise new ways of delivering technology to market."
HP has also created a six-strong UK team dedicated to service provider partners, headed by Andrew Duce.
Duce said: "Our SMB sales staff are opening up conversations around cloud and then passing those opportunities to the service providers. We have already passed on a number of leads, some of a big sum."
James Griffin, director of product strategy at Outsourcery, said CloudAgile represented a major endorsement of cloud services.
"HP has clearly recognised the strategic importance of service providers when it comes to helping businesses move to the cloud," he said. "Outsourcery is delighted to be part of this innovative program, which enables us to pass innovation, cost, scale and quality benefits directly to our customers and partners."
CloudAgile will officially launch to UK partners in the run-up to HP's next financial year starting November.
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