HPE has vowed to hand more and more business over to the channel, claiming in four years that 90 per cent of its revenue could go through partners.
At the moment, 70 per cent of its business goes through partners - according to a number of HPE executives who referred to the stat during its Global Partner Conference (GPC) in Boston.
By comparison, on Monday, HP Inc said that 80 per cent of its business goes through partners at the moment, with that figure due to rise to 87 per cent by its next fiscal year, which starts on 1 November.
But although HPE is behind HP Inc at the moment, the amount of sales through partners could creep into the nineties in the coming years, according to HPE's senior vice president for worldwide indirect sales Kerry Bailey.
"We are a 100 per cent channel-focused company now going forward," he said. "If you look at different regions - in Europe we're above that number, in APJ we are a little higher, and in the Americas we're a little lower. However, our direct-selling initiatives are those top accounts and that's it.
"We announced here in North America that reps will not get paid unless a partner delivers it and that's the case in Europe. We're just about 70 per cent on average but we will see that get well into the eighties and then I would expect, over four years, we could top into the nineties. It probably won't go above 90 per cent, but, you know, we're only going to be working on top accounts."
When HP split in two last November, the old partner programme Partner One was scrapped, with HPE unveiling Partner Ready, and HP Inc going with Partner First.
Bailey said that Partner Ready was designed not just for traditional resellers, but with the changing IT landscape in mind.
"We've enabled Partner Ready not just for resellers - it is built for three models," he said. "It's built for the reseller, which is a great business model and the partners are able to grow, make money and deliver new systems the new buying patterns are driving. We've got solutions providers that are services led that maybe half their business is reselling. Partner Ready, around incentives and rebates, is all built for that. The final one we are seeing significant traction on is our service provider [business] - those partners delivering "as a service" revenues. That's a pretty big deal for us and we're making it so our sellers are more incentivised to sell a partners' solutions. Those are the biggest things I would say we're hitting here with our partners. We're not competing with you and out strategy here is extremely clear."
Yesterday, HP Inc unveiled the Social Media Centre, which will give partners access to sharable content for social media in order to boost their online presence, making them more visible to customers. HPE said the same scheme will be offered to its partners, adding that they will be offered advice on how to appear higher on search engines. Both firms said changing buyer behaviour - where customers are increasingly looking online before they speak to sales - is the driving force behind the initiative.
Chris Gabriel, chief digital officer at partner Logicalis, welcomed the move.
"I think if you use it correctly, it is the most valuable tool," he said. "I got to about 600 followers a year-and-a-half ago. But then I realised what I was doing was having the same conversations with people and I was using it to just talking about the same thing. Therefore it was a bit of a hassle.
"I then started talking about digital and IoT [and so on] and I got to 1,400 followers in about eight weeks. The following I got was in DevOps and FinTech and so on. We've got to get to those communities and you can't do that by sending them an email and saying ‘would you like to come to an event and read the Logicalis brouchure?' It doesn't work."
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