HP drops Power Services specialization in bid to simplify Amplify

Kobi Elbaz, senior vice president and general manager of channel, sales innovation and operations at HP

LAS VEGAS — It’s not the year for big changes to HP’s Amplify Partner Program. Still, this week, the company’s channel chief presented a “state of the program” address to partners, including several updates and changes.

Speaking at the company’s Amplify Partner Conference here, Kobi Elbaz, senior vice president and general manager of channel, sales innovation and operations at HP, outlined a series of tweaks to the company’s all-encompassing partner program and offered partners a look at where the program may go next.

The most significant development in terms of structure is that Elbaz announced that as of May 1, it would drop the Power Services specialization from the program, “simplifying” down to just two partner tiers, Synergy and Power. Those two were the existing levels of the program, with the Power Services specialization sitting alongside them in the program.

HP said Power Services partners “will immediately enter the combined Power track, maintaining access to unique offerings based on existing certifications.”

As one area of differentiation for partners disappears, another appears. The company announced the debut of two new “distinctions” for its largest partners: Power Elite and Global Power Elite categories for “partners who operate on a large scale and deliver significant revenue and capability-building opportunities.”

The shifts in the Power category are the first significant changes in HP’s now two-year-old global Amplify program.

Other notes from Elbaz’s summary of what’s going on with the Amplify program:

  • Today, 40 percent of the company’s channel is part of its Amplify Impact program, which Elbaz touted as the industry’s first partner program focused on digital equity, climate action, and human rights. HP will open the gates for that program further by making it available for distributors on May 1.
  • Partners should expect the current Smart Buy program for top-selling SMB-focused products to be expanded to “cover more of the portfolio, including print and peripherals” soon.
  • “More than 40 percent” of the company’s MDF spend is already covered by its relatively new Fast Lane program, which HP likens to a “TSA PreChek” that pre-approves select partners for marketing co-spend. Elbaz said this has made turnaround time 60 percent faster than the typical partner experience and that HP would be focused on getting more partners into the program as part of its effort to “focus on execution and not on process” in terms of co-marketing.
  • The previously announced Amplify Growth Plays program, which aims to educate and enable partners around key HP initiatives, will debut in May. The program will initially focus on digital services, video collaboration, active care services, and AI data science.
  • HP and Nvidia are working together to launch a Future Ready AI MasterClass under HP University in May. Elbaz said the program would feature role-specific (technical and sales) training on what solution providers need to know to “upscale skills” in AI and will be available to all HP partners.
  • Elbaz credited the company’s AI-powered quoting platform with dropping the turnaround time for partner deal pricing to two hours for 70 percent of the deals partners have registered with HP but said there’s still work to do. He said he wants to see “much of the business” running through the platform and has set a goal of getting quote turnaround time to “minutes, not hours.”
  • Elbaz said the pilot of the company’s More For More program incentivizing partners to sell across the portfolio had led to participating partners doubling their attach rates in some categories and earning 50 percent higher compensation via the program.
  • Perhaps hinting at future tweaks to the program, Elbaz acknowledged that Amplify should better recognize “different capabilities and skills in our channel partners” without “disrupting stability” that Amplify represents.

Robert Dutt

Robert Dutt is the founder and head blogger at ChannelBuzz.ca. He has been covering the Canadian solution provider channel community for a variety of publications and Web sites since 1997.