HPE is introducing preferential pricing for resellers who prospect for new business in a move it says reflects the growing importance of pre-sales skills.
When selling to new customer accounts, HPE partners will now net both an upfront discount and deal protection, via preferential pricing.
It is the second component – which is guaranteed for six months and can be extended beyond that – that is new, Gilles Thiebaut, vice president of indirect sales, SMB and service providers, Enterprise Group EMEA, explained.
The number of certified technical professionals in the channel across EMEA has risen by 40 per cent to 13,000 in the last two years, Thiebault said.
"Partners have invested significantly in skills and because of that investment they're telling us they want some additional protection – that is what we are giving them," he told CRN.
"Customers are asking much more for outcomes, proof of concepts and solutions, and we need to enable our partners to address these needs. The market is changing and the amount of pre-sales required is increasing," he said.
The scheme was rolled out in the UK and most of western Europe last week, with Germany and MEMA going live on 11 and 25 July.
"Some of our competitors may be more internally focused or are facing some specific issue. So we really want to go on the offensive and go after new business with our partners."
Thiebaut would not divulge numbers but said HPE will be offering a higher level of incentive on some high-growth solutions, such as its recently unveiled hyper-converged offering, Aruba and StoreOnce backup.
This is the first of several tweaks HPE will be making to its Partner Ready partner programme, which has not seen any major changes since its introduction four years ago, Thiebaut said. Further changes that recognise partners' solution-selling skills and reflect how HPE addresses new consumption models with its partners will be announced at its global partner conference in Boston in September, he promised.
"We are launching [preferential pricing] now because we are seeing opportunities in the market," Thiebaut said. "If you look at HPE, you will see a company that is accelerating. Our Q2 results were excellent - probably one of the best quarters in the last five years. Some of our competitors may be more internally focused or are facing some specific issue. So we really want to go on the offensive and go after new business with our partners."
HPE recently announced plans to spin off its enterprise services and merge it with CSC and Theibaut said this will benefit partners who saw HP's in-house services as competition.
"ES was very much focused on global accounts and big commercial and public sector accounts, and although there wasn't much conflict with our partners, the position now of HPE as a hardware and software company is very clear," he said.
The upfront 'New Business Opportunity' discount is available for Platinum, Gold and Silver EG partners in EMEA, while the preferential pricing component is open to Platinum, Gold and Silver EG partners as well as lower-level Business partners.
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