HP Partner First is a channel partner program that provides resources and benefits for value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators (SIs), service providers, hosting providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), distributors and other businesses that want to collaborate with HP Inc.
HP Partner First Program members can access a range of benefits, certifications and financial incentives and discounts. The membership structure has three primary tiers: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each of these program levels has its own set of requirements, benefits and rewards.
History of HP's partner program
HP Partner First Program formed following Hewlett Packard's companywide split in 2014, which resulted in two stand-alone organizations: HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). While HPE focuses on enterprise products and services, HP Inc. is centered on PC and printer technology.
HP Partner First Program was rolled out in 2015, alongside HPE Partner Ready Program. Elements of both programs were derived from HP's former partner program, HP PartnerOne. According to company executives at the time, initial design considerations included ensuring HP PartnerOne partners could preserve their investments in training and membership level as they migrated into the new programs.
Since its launch, HP Partner First has been updated to streamline the program. The tier structure, for example, was simplified to Silver, Gold and Platinum in 2016. That same year, the company also introduced three sales tracks to accommodate different channel business focuses: volume selling, global systems integration and specialized solutions.
After acquiring Samsung Electronics Co.'s printer business in November 2017, HP Inc. integrated the Samsung partner program with Partner First. Samsung's printer business included A3 printer technology, a segment that HP identified as a major growth opportunity for its business printing.
Basics of HP Partner First
HP Partner First Program serves about 18,000 partners globally, according to HP Inc.
- Through the program, partners can achieve specializations that emphasize a consultative sales motion. These include Device as a Service and Managed Print Services HP also provides vertical market specializations for healthcare, education and 3D printing.
- The HP Sales Central portal provides partner sales and marketing support. HP Sales Central contains social media marketing resources and other sales tools. Partners can also apply for market development funds (MDFs).
- HP University, introduced in 2017, delivers sales skills training, product education, solution selling and certifications for the HP partner ecosystem. The online training component of HP University is available in 170 countries and 11 languages.
As of 2018, HP Inc. said it is looking to refine the global SI program within HP Partner First and expand its demo purchase program.
HP ISV Partner Program
HP Inc. offers an HP ISV Partner Program for ISVs in conjunction with HP Partner First. ISV partners can access marketing, sales and technical support through two tracks: a Mobility Track to test and validate software products on HP's mobility portfolio and a Retail Track for access to HP's retail platforms.
According to HP Inc., HP ISVs are required to focus primarily on software development and HP's targeted markets. Additionally, HP ISVs must sign a partner agreement, actively promote HP and participate in pipeline reviews and sales lead sharing. HP also asks ISV to commit to solutions training and a joint business plan with HP.