HPE unveils more details on channel competencies

Nine competencies are available, although some key issues, like how they will fit into Party Ready tiering, have still to be determined.

LAS VEGAS – Last fall, Hewlett Packard Enterprise introduced channel competencies, a new classification which, unlike their existing specializations, were intended to transcend a focus on specific business units and concentrate on services and software around integrated solutions. Since then, HPE has reworked how the competencies will be organized. They are still a work in progress however, and other elements, such as their formal integration into Tier Eligibility, have not yet been determined.

“We have aligned our compensation to partners who are building capabilities that are rapidly growing, and our overall partner compensation will now take these into account,” Denzil Samuels, HPE’s global channel chief, told partners in the Global Partner Summit keynote.”

“We have a responsibility to move partners into the solution space and recognize those that have those skillsets and capabilities,” said Jesse Chavez, -President, Worldwide Indirect Strategy and Operations, Enterprise Group at HPE. “Last year when we announced this, we were testing it out, and we have learned a lot since then.”

Nine competencies are now available to partners, divided into three classifications aligned to strategy: Hybrid IT; Data and Analytics; and Intelligent Edge. Since last fall’s announcement, about 50 partners have applied for a competency.

“These will allow us to find partners with capabilities around solutions, versus capabilities around our hardware, which is how we have been doing it,” Chavez said.

Within the Hybrid IT classification there are two competencies. Cloud Automation includes solution examples like the Azure stack and Private Cloud Express. Software Defined Infrastructure includes Rapid Provisioning and Infrastructure Consolidation and Virtualization.

Data and Analytics has four competencies: High Performance Computing; Data and Analytics Infrastructure; Object Storage; and Business Continuity and Data Protection. Intelligent Edge has three competencies: Industrial IoT; Edge and Mobile Networking and Workplace Experience.

Chavez said the IoT opportunity will likely be expanded into a broader program.

“We think that will be the most significant opportunity,” he said. “We will have to formulate a program around the whole IoT ecosystem, but we don’t have a program element around that yet.”

To support partners in the sales and support of the nine competencies, HPE will offer an expanded set of partner enablement assets, including reference architectures, solution guides, customer presentations, and quick reference cards.

One change has been made to the Specializations, that more product-focused grouping, and that is the creation of a new Data Center Specialization, available to Silver Partners and up.

“We want to simplify the tools we put in place, and improve turnaround time and experience,” Chavez said. “In the Silver tier, where more partners sell to SMBs, we have combined multiple certifications into this one Data Center certification. This reduces the time required for certification from nine training days down to five.”

Chavez said that the long-term plan is to integrate the competencies into the program tiers level.

“We intend to make competencies a requirement to make membership levels, but we are still working on that,” he said. “Right now, this is impacted through soft benefits, like MDF and co-selling in the field.”

HPE also announced forthcoming new partner opportunities through PointNext, their technology services organization that was redefined and rebadged in March. The company said that it is developing new services purpose-built for scale and delivery by the channel, as well as systems integrator and advisory partners, and sharing more intellectual property with partners on key solutions. One PointNext solution’s availability was formally announced, Capacity Care from HPE PointNext. It’s a new midmarket solution for the channel that enables capacity monitoring and procurement support for HPE ProLiant Gen10 systems.

“Services matter more than ever, but they need to be the right kind of services,” said CEO Meg Whitman. “We are developing more channel-first services and investing in channel services.

“HPE PointNext can complement your business,” Whitman told partners. “If you already have a services practice, you can have a better and more profitable services business. If you don’t have one, you can resell PointNext, to generate more revenue and margin for your business.”