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New HP partner portal bolsters critical sales cycle tools

HP's refreshed partner portal releases a bevy of tool enhancements for its worldwide base of partners, including HP Business partners.

At the HP Global Partner Conference in February 2013, Hewlett Packard made a promise to design and deliver the HP Unison Platform, or Unison Partner Portal, to its worldwide base of partners. Today, HP delivered on that promise.

The announcement, made at the Canalys Channel Forum event held Sept. 23-25, in Cannes, France, comes 18 months after the vendor said it would spend $100 million to take the Unison platform in a new direction.

According to HP, the new partner portal includes updated and enhanced tools as well as new ones. The platform also unifies the tools and simplifies the user experience.

"We made the tools that partners use to do business with HP easier so that instead of partners spending time on administrative tasks, they can spend time selling and winning business," said Patrick Eitenbichler, director of PartnerOne strategy at HP.

The Unison Partner Portal is the first major overhaul of the HP partner portal in more than two decades.

In June 2014, HP began rolling out the Unison Partner Portal to Platinum, Gold and Silver PartnerOne partners in over 125 countries. About 40,000 partners worldwide currently have access to the HP partner portal. In the coming months, HP Business partners will also gain access to the Unison Partner Portal, according to Eitenbichler.

The intuitive, task-based navigation provides access to tools across the nine areas of the sales cycle: joint business planning, market development funds (MDF), demand generation, opportunity creation, deal registration (optional), configuration and pricing, quotes, order and fulfillment, and claims and compensation.

According to Eitenbichler, many tools are now integrated and more efficient, reducing the number of steps and time it takes partners to complete tasks. For example, joint business planning and MDF are now integrated: In the course of business planning if it's decided that a partner should run a marketing campaign or demand generation campaign, MDF can be assigned immediately and through a single process.

HP redesigned most of the best-of-breed tools that partners had access to, such as registration, quoting and pricing. The new HP Discount Now program and HP QuickQuote tool work faster to close opportunities, according to Eitenbichler. In fact, 70% of special pricing requests will be turned around in two hours or less -- compared to taking days or weeks with the older tools -- he said.

Additionally, the MyComp Optimizer tool is now automated, making it easier to manage and forecast compensation and rewards. It refreshes on a weekly basis for partners to gauge their revenue and rebates.

"It's much more transparent," Eitenbichler said.

HP also enhanced and improved its lead and opportunity management processes.

The Unison Partner Portal also provides partners with a customizable homepage dashboard. Using the dashboard, partners can access the tools, plus news and information that are most relevant to their business.

The worldwide deployment of tools and resources will continue through 2015, according to HP.

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