HP details post-split partner programs

Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing strategy for PartnerOne at HP.

Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing strategy for PartnerOne at HP.

LAS VEGAS – At its Global Partner Conference here, HP announced details, including the names, of the partner programs that will replace PartnerOne after the company spits in two on November 1.

The future HP Inc. (HPI) will dub its partner program Partner First, while Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) will have a program named Partner Ready. While PartnerOne has worked well for HP, providing a single structure for the company’s partners, the changes coming to the new companies’ respective focuses mean it’s time for the programs to go their own ways, company executives say.

Over at HPI, Partner First will be structured to acknowledge the changing business models for solution providers, including shifts by many away from project-based businesses that are product-heavy and towards everything-as-a-service.

“We’re all aware that the market is moving away from being a transactional market and towards a contractual approach,” said Vincent Brissot, vice president of worldwide channel marketing for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems group. “We want to make sure the program reflects that change in go-to-market.”

The program will feature three tracks, each of which will have a different path towards the upper tiers of the program – Transactional, Value, and Alliance, and OEM.

The Transactional track is self-explanatory, and partners will continue to advance based on sales volume, making it the attractive category for DMRs and other big sellers, as well as smaller local resellers who haven’t gone too deep with their services businesses. As Brissot puts it, in this category often “the value that you bring is the volume that you sell.”

The second track, Value, should prove attractive to the majority of the VAR community, and particularly those who are shifting strongly towards services – cloud, managed, or otherwise. Under that track, partners will advance through the tiers based on the technical skills and education they have on staff, and benefits will be centered around solutions selling education, training, and enablement.

The Alliance track is new to the HPI side of the business, as HP’s AllianceOne program will remain within the walls of HPE post-split. Brissot said this program will particularly focus on partners who are adding value in new areas to HP, such as immersive computing and 3D printing, with a particularly focus on ISVs.

The future HPI also showed of 11 “sales plays” around its business. Brissot said these components are being architected to help solution provides both move away from product-centric selling and towards a business conversation, as well as finding the sweet spot for that conversation.

“Trying to sell mobility as a whole may be too large, but product-centric selling is too narrow. We want to help our partners to have specific conversations like mobile learning in education, and enabling mobility in the enterprise – how you connect people, ideas, and content all together, things like that,” Brissot said.

Over in HPE’s Partner Ready program, the focus will be on building a services-led business, said Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing strategy for PartnerOne at HP.

“We’ll do that by focusing on the four transformational areas we’re building on – hybrid IT, big data, security, and the digital workplace,” Eitenbichler said.

Perhaps the biggest change tot he program is around its focus on education and certification requirements. Under Partner Ready, HPE will go from eight current sales certifications around its enterprise portfolio, to one. That certification will focus closely on one subject – opportunity identification.

The company will also roll out more reference architectures to partners around its four big plays, and will offer more training around consulting and integration practices.

“We’re going to help them build their consulting practices using HP’s intellectual property,” Eitenbichler said. “We want to help them to drive higher value and higher margins for them and for us.”

While Partner Ready won’t debut as a whole until November 1, some of that consulting training material will be made available to partners this summer, Eitenbichler said.

The company also announced it would introduce a Partner Marketplace around its HP Helion cloud portfolio, providing its partners an easy path to third-party applications and solutions built on HP’s public and hybrid cloud portfolio. The Marketplace will launch first in the U.S., with other regions joining the program over the course of 2015, Eitenbichler said.