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HP recommits to PPS partners

LAS VEGAS — The doors have closed on Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Global Partner Conference (HP GPC) 2015 – and next year’s event will be different following the split of HP into two companies. But as Printer and Personal Systems (PPS) partners move ahead with what will be called HP Inc. (HPI), they can expect to see a continuation of the partner-focused approach rooted in PPS, according to Jos Brenkel, senior vice president of worldwide strategy and project management office, printing and personal systems at HP.

Today, about 85% of PPS revenue goes through the channel.

The split of HP into two companies makes sense to Paul Kaminski, director of document storage solutions at Innovative Office Solutions, which is based in Burnsville, Minn. Innovative Office Solutions is focused primarily on the PPS side of HP’s business

“The split is good for us because there will be a greater focus on categories that we primarily play in and we’ll benefit from dedicated resources,” he said.

Innovative Office Solutions, a Gold Managed Print Advanced Specialist partner, sells across the entire line of HP printers and supplies.

As PPS transitions to HPI, partners can expect to see a new partner program, new tools and marketing programs to support demand generation, and new training and certifications to help partners sell solutions into vertical markets. In addition, the vendor vowed to ensure business continuity during the company’s transformation. The HP Partner Navigator program, in particular, aims to guide partners through the separation.

Innovative Office Solutions has been on track with HPI’s strategy to move customers from transactional business to contractual business. Kaminski said the Gold partner works with customers to lower print costs via managed print services. He also said that the company CEO’s strategy is to provide value to the customer by offering services.

“The more they can buy from one vendor, the more value they get,” he said.

The company does a lot of business with customers in the education market and expects to reintroduce current customers to the new HP Classroom solution, one of the new bundled solutions for education. Expanding the company’s reach to additional verticals is something Kaminski said the company is very interested in learning more about.

Today, Innovative Office Solutions sells some mobile devices, but working on the personal system side of the business hasn’t been a strong focus for the partner.

“I’ve got a couple of customers that I’m moving away from my competitors – [personal systems] is a brand-new growth area for us, and is very exciting,” Kaminski said. “It’s not a high-margin area but hopefully the solutions will add margin,” he added.

Brenkel, meanwhile, put out a partner call to action at HP GPC 2015: work closely with your HP counterparts, drive mobility solutions, expand your print footprint with the Office Pro X Series, reinvigorate your LaserJet business, expand your services business selling devices as a service, and leverage sales plays and tools.