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Recognizing partners are taking on multiple roles in the IT ecosystem, HP is expanding its PartnerOne channel program framework beyond VARs to include its service provider, systems integrator, distributor, ISV and OEM partners, the company announced at its Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas this week.
"Today PartnerOne is a reseller program," said Patrick Eitenbichler, director of marketing for PartnerOne strategy. "When we look at the ecosystem of partners out there, traditionally partners were focused on one thing only. When we look at today's environment and even more so a couple years from now, there is a lot of overlap in the business models."
As one example, he cited a reseller that may build a data center to offer cloud services, becoming a service provider.
"Instead of having a program specific to each type of partner, we've put it all under the same umbrella program called PartnerOne with a single common foundation," Eitenbichler said. "We don't see the models going away, but if it's a common foundation, then it's much easier for them to engage with us."
The components of the inclusive PartnerOne program include:
- A consistent membership structure, including Platinum, Gold, Silver and Business Partners. As one example, the HP PartnerOne Service Provider program formerly was called CloudAgile and included Premium and Select partner tiers, Eitenbichler said.
- A common portal for all partner types called Unison. They will have one login, but content will be segmented by business model because the benefits are based on different activities, Eitenbichler said, noting the example of a VAR getting rebates on a hardware sale while a service provider does not.
- One contract with addenda for the six business models, effective Nov. 1. "The first step we are making is for resellers and service providers with the same contract, with the service providers signing the addendum," Eitenbichler said. "We are trying to move as much as possible to a single contract and have any additional [terms and conditions] in a program guide so there is not the legal effort of signing it and if it changes, having to sign it again." Eitenbichler said HP partners do not have to sign a new agreement by Nov. 1, but if they want to simplify the engagement model, they have the option.
- Normalized MDF processes. Instead of separate programs accessible from different portals, there will be one process across partner types through the Unison portal. "A partner who engages with us across different models would have the same process," Eitenbirchler said.
- A common partner locator. Customers don't need to know what type of partner they are looking for but what they need, Eitenbichler said, explaining the locator will present the various options. "Right now if a customer comes to HP looking for a partner, they can look at the reseller locator and find a reseller or the Cloud Navigator and find a cloud partner," he said. "[Instead], we want to try to help the customer, so they can say, 'I want solution x,' and, we provide the options — you can buy it, you can buy it as a cloud service, you can buy consulting and find out what to do next."