HP Global Partner Conference 2013 highlights streamlined PartnerOne

At HP's Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas, the company rolled out a slew of changes to PartnerOne, focusing on easier rebates and certifications.

Right out of the gate at today's HP Global Partner Conference 2013 in Las Vegas, Hewlett-Packard Co. laid out enhancements to its PartnerOne program that will make it easier for partners to do business with the company.

Heeding the call of its partners to simplify the program, the refreshed PartnerOne program offers three key changes: paying partners from the first sale and implementing a single growth target at which point incentives kick in; uncapping earning potential for rebates; and making rates for specialty partners linear starting with the first sale.

"What these changes bring to our partners is greater consistency, predictability and profitability," said Doug Oathout, vice president of channel marketing for the enterprise group at HP.

There are 30,000 partners in the HP PartnerOne program.

Taking a closer look at the three PartnerOne enhancements:

  • The thresholds that partners have to reach today in order to earn rebates are changing. Beginning in May, partners earn growth rebates from the first sale. When they reach their growth target, incremental rebates kick in.
  • HP will offer unlimited earning potential for rebates -- in other words, it is uncapping partner earnings.
  • Rates for specialty partners -- those focused on particular types of technology, such as printing, workstations or servers -- will be consistent across the line, eliminating a myriad of rates that were previously in place.

Program changes begin on May 1. Partners should note that how they spend the monies earned from the programs -- for example, reinvest in their HP business or invest in training or in the company's bottom line -- remains the same. The dollars are not upfront discounts.

Additional changes to PartnerOne program

That's not all. HP made additional announcements that impact PartnerOne partners.

Market development funds (MDF) administration is changing from a 90-day cycle to a six-month cycle. What that means to partners is a longer lead time to spend their MDF dollars.

The company is also simplifying its ExpertOne certifications, trimming the number significantly from the current 44 certifications in the Enterprise Group. The changes will focus on key learning activities such as information optimization, cloud and security, for example. Details on the certification changes will be announced in May. Beginning Nov. 1, partners will be measured against the new certifications. Existing certifications won't become obsolete; instead, HP will map them to the new program.

In order to earn more money, partners will be able to layer new certifications on top of existing ones in the designated focus areas (information optimization, cloud, security, convergence, etc.).

Oathout also noted that HP is making a $100-million investment in a new Unison portal, where channel partners can go for all communication with HP. The platform will unify all partner tools.

The company announced the direction for its Unison platform today at the HP Global Partner Conference 2013, but noted that the rollout will take about 18 months, with initial implementation to include tools for partner planning and deal registration, Oathout said. Over time, additional components, such as tools for opportunity management, lead management, pricing, quoting and configuration, among others, will be rolled out.

HP will integrate HP Autonomy data management software and HP Vertica analytics tool into the HP PartnerOne program.

As of today, HP Vertica will become a specialty program in the HP PartnerOne program. Partners who have a software selling agreement with HP today will be eligible to take the Vertica specialization to sell the Vertica Analytics Platform and earn special rebates.

Also today, HP is launching a new HP Autonomy partner program modeled after the PartnerOne program. In the second half of the year, the HP Autonomy partner program will be absorbed into PartnerOne.

For the first half of 2013, HP will look for partners to help the company target specific vertical solutions for the industry-focused Autonomy product.

"When Autonomy rolls out in PartnerOne, we want to be ready to offer vertical versions of the product. We already have solutions that target media/entertainment and legal, and we want to create additional versions of Autonomy for our partners to sell," Oathout said.

HP also announced today that it's adding a new PPS Services Specialization within the Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) group so that partners dealing with either one or two pieces of this technology portfolio can integrate and manage services across PCs to the entire printing suite.

The company will announce, at a later date, an education calendar and certification requirements.

Finally, the new HP Verified Online Supplies Reseller Program provides online resellers an insignia to assure customers that they are in fact purchasing genuine, or legitimate, HP supplies.

Enhancements to AllianceOne

Two additional announcements at HP Global Partner Conference focused on HP's AllianceOne Partner Program.

HP is creating an online community for its current 4,500 AllianceOne independent software vendors -- a place where partners can interact with the vendor on technical issues. The new AllianceOne community is a big step up from the existing static website, Oathout said.

HP is also launching the new HP AllianceOne Ready Programs -- which will provide partners with resources to support development of cloud or Saas offerings -- with the HP AllianceOne CloudSystem Ready Program, the first of a series of programs to come.

The HP AllianceOne CloudSystem Ready Program is designed to help AllianceOne partners bring applications developed for the client/server or Internet environment to the cloud using HP CloudSystem. HP CloudSystem is an integrated and open platform that includes servers, storage, networking and security for building and managing clouds.

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