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HP Partner First Gets More Friendly, Robust

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Lynn Haber**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of August’s important channel-program changes you should know.** 

HP GLOBAL PARTNER CONFERENCE — HP Inc. (HP) on Monday announced changes and enhancements to its Partner First program that include simplification to the way HP measures partners, a reduction in partner tier levels from four to three, an expanded solutions track, and new marketing resources.

HP's Thomas JensenThe HP Global Partner Conference (GPC), this week in Boston, is the first since the company split into HPE and HP Inc. — it’s a combined event for partners.

In response to complaints about the complexity of how HP measures partners, the vendor has reduced by 60 percent the number of variables, or metrics, in its compensation model.

Also, going forward, Partner First will have a three-tier model – Platinum, Gold and Silver – eliminating the Business partner tier.

“This will allow us to become more focused, more dedicated and focus our efforts on where we have the highest impact and ability. We want to ensure that we are not spreading ourselves too thin but rather optimizing our engagement with partners,” said Thomas Jensen, head of worldwide channel sales strategy at HP.{ad}

At the same time, HP will increase its reliance on its distribution partners for partner engagement. Today, all HP product fulfillment goes through distribution; however, there was redundancy in go-to-market engagement among the partner tiers, according to the vendor. So now, HP will work with its Platinum, Gold and Silver partners for go-to-market while business partners and other sellers – of which there are about 100,000 worldwide who procure and resell but aren’t part of Partner First – will work with distributors for go-to-market engagement.

HP also expanded the number of specialties in its Solutions Track. Up until today, there were six specializations: Client Virtualization Specialist; Services Specialist; Managed Print Specialist; DesignJet Specialist; Graphics Specialist; and Technical Production Specialist.

Starting Nov. 1, new specializations include: Mobility Workspace; Device-as-a-Service; an expansion of the Managed Print Specialist; and, 3D Scanning and 3D Printing, with additional specializations on tap for later. HP is also looking into creating specializations for ….

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… vertical markets, according to Jensen.

On the marketing front, HP announced two new initiatives: one to help partners with social selling, the other a redesign of co-marketing and demand-generation efforts.

HP introduced the new HP Social Media Center, a free benefit for partners that will help them generate leads and engage via social media. It’s a system that provides B-B content around security, mobility, education, and content.

“The goal is to help partners expand their digital footprint[s] in social media,” said Vincent Brissot, head of worldwide channel marketing at HP.

The Social Media Center is set to launch first in the U.S. and Canada, followed by the U.K, Latin America and other regions by Nov. 1.

HP’s Co-Marketing Zone (CMZ), a one-stop portal for HP authorized partners to access and create customized co-branded marketing materials, also got some love on Monday with the introduction of Co-Marketing Zone Plus.

The new end-to-end portal allows partners to create, run and activate campaigns within the system, simplifying the process.

Partners will also find a new tool that measures the response rate on campaigns and tracks the effectiveness of campaigns.


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