HP Lays Out Channel Program Changes

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**Editor's Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**

HP said on Wednesday it's simplifying its PartnerOne program – and the bigger the partner, the greater the incentives and rewards.

The changes, which take effect Nov. 1, cover compensation and certification, and add new membership levels. They apply across all of HP's business units – including enterprise, software, and printing and personal systems – and across all regions.

First up, the new membership levels. HP soon will break partners into four tiers: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Business. As with other vendors, the higher the tier, the more a partner sells and the more responsibility it assumes for the customer. Along the way, the more money the partner stands to make.

To that point, HP said compensation will align to membership status, growth in new business revenue, and incentives on specific products and services. The changes come on the heels of those rolled out in May, when HP removed gates and caps so qualified partners started earning rebates from their first sale.

Finally, HP is making it easier for partners to get certified. One example comes in the number of technical specializations required for the HP Enterprise Group; the previous number totaled 44. It's now 22.

“Partner success is the foundation of HP’s relationship with the channel community, and our programs must evolve to help partners better serve our mutual customers," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Strategic Growth Initiatives, HP, in a press release.

The pending channel changes were expected. In April, Doug Oathout, vice president of worldwide channel marketing for HP's enterprise group, told Channel Partners that the company was aiming to become easier for partners to work with. The need for such a shift is growing as HP focuses on cloud, big data, security, desktop management, technology and managed services and print, Oathout said.

"We're changing the top focus of the program to enable partners to become services companies," he said. "All this stuff is based in software now so they don't have to be systems integrators anymore to do a big project."

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