Patrick Eitenbichler, director, PartnerOne strategy, HP, noted that the changes to the program will make it easier for HP to engage with its partners. He explained that there are five areas in which HP has modified PartnerOne, and he believes that HP’s partners will greet these developments with enthusiasm. PartnerOne will now offer an intuitive membership structure, predictable compensation, new specializations in growth areas, streamlined certification requirements and an enhanced partner portal.
Eitenbichler noted that there has been a trend within the channel to change the name of membership structures to titles such as “preferred” or “select.” Those titles do not clarify the hierarchy; rather, they confuse both partners and their customers. HP will now use a structure based on metals. There will be silver, gold and platinum partners. “It makes it much simpler,” Eitenbichler said. Partners can qualify for a single membership, as opposed to multiple memberships based on their specializations. HP will make the new partner membership logo available to resellers and distributors, so they do not need to create a logo themselves. The logo will show their membership designation at the top, and their specializations at the bottom. HP will also add a partner locator feature to its website, and it will promote gold and platinum partners.
Previously, different divisions of HP offered partners varying compensation schemes. This will change with the revamped PartnerOne program. HP will now pay from the first unit sold. There will not be caps on earnings. Rebates will increase as the partner ascends HP’s tier structure. HP will also reward partners for new business opportunities, and payment for new business will be upfront. Partners will receive a bonus for selling products from HP’s growth portfolio.
As part of its enhanced partner program, HP will also offer new specializations in key growth areas. Platinum partners will be able to specialize in software. New gold partner specializations include Cloud Builder, ServiceOne Enterprise, Vertica, Managed Print and Service One Printing and Computing. Silver partners will be able to attain specializations in ServiceOne Enterprise, Autonomy and Vertica.
Another change to PartnerOne is the streamlining of certification requirements. “When there are highly skilled people, the sales cycle is shorter,” Eitenbichler commented. “But, they have to spend time out of the office to acquire those skills.” HP has streamlined the training and certification requirements to increase the value its partners obtain from the process. The company has reduced the number of training days and exams for the certification process, meaning that salespeople can spend more time doing their job and making both HP and the partner profitable.
The final enhancement HP has made to PartnerOne will be visible in its online partner portal. According to Eitenbichler, the navigation will now be easier than before. The layout will be more consistent than the previous version of the portal, and users can click on an “access now” button that lets them carry out tasks in a simple and quick manner. Eitenbichler added that these changes are only the beginning for the partner portal, and that HP will continue to improve the site.
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