HP Inc's UK channel boss has said the company's new Partner First programme will give its resellers more chances to achieve Platinum status because of its new structure.
Partner First was unveiled last year as HP split into HP Inc – focused on PCs and printing – and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which specialises in storage and services. Although the new programme has been unveiled, it will not come into force until 1 November this year, exactly 12 months after the demerger. In the meantime, resellers have to spend time getting accredited on the two new programmes.
The previous HP Partner One programme saw partners divided into Platinum, Gold, Silver and Business tiers. Partners were awarded a place on each level for their credentials across the whole HP portfolio.
But under the new HP Inc Partner First regime, resellers can achieve Platinum status even if they specialise in only one area.
Channel sales, education and SMB director for UK and Ireland, Neil Sawyer (pictured), told CRN at an HP Inc education event that this is part of the company's new, focused approach to the channel.
"We want to find new partners and we want those partners to specialise in key areas of our portfolio," he said. "Not all partners are going to sell the entire HP portfolio – some are very focused on selling specific segments of that. So... when we reinvented Partner First, we wanted to acknowledge those specialities.
"Beginning at the end of this year, we will have Platinum partners for PC, print, as well as supplies. Within that, we will have Specialities such as Sprout [education tool], workstations, thin client... and some quite bespoke areas. Some are very niche."
He added that allowing partners to become Platinum partners in each area – PC, printing and supplies – will enable a larger number of resellers to achieve the top status.
He insisted that partners were not irked at having to re-qualify for two new partner programmes after already being accredited on Partner One in the past.
"It's definitely not painful," he said. "However, from the conversations I've had with resellers, I think a lot of them are realising the opportunity that exists."
Looking to the future
Sawyer said he was pleased with how smoothly the split from HP went and stressed that it is – and has been – business as usual for the company ever since. At the firm's education event, in which it unveiled a number of new products for schools, he outlined his plans for the company's channel for the future.
He said that over the last 12 months, partners have been keen for HP to update the way it offers pricing, and to that end, next month it will unveil an Integrated Quoting Tool.
"One of the things we've always been asked to do is improve the response time in getting special pricing and bid responses out to resellers," he said. "Starting from next month, when we deploy this, we will be able to response to all special pricing within 30 minutes. It is a giant leap from where we have been in the past. The one thing we were asked to do over the last 12 months is to fix that because it makes a very real difference to a reseller's perception from their customers and their ability to respond in a more timely fashion."
IDC analysts Dominic Trott and Martin Whitworth advise against a knee-jerk reaction to Kaspersky Lab following its potential EU ban
Vendor partners with Microsoft and Intel to dish out £25,000 to four schools every year
Insight's UK managing director and senior vice president of EMEA marketing talks to CRN about the value of diversity, the importance of meritocracy, and the many initiatives her firm supports to ensure a balanced workforce
Shields to become VP of enterprise channel, Europe - but stresses the UK will remain a key market for her