**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of August’s important channel-program changes you should know.**
Addressing about 2,000 attendees on day two of Synnex‘s Inspire conference Oct. 2, Scott Dunsire, vice president and general manager of HP’s Americas Channel Organization, announced changes to HP’s partner program designed to clarify the field of play and reassure resellers about the post-split future.
On Nov. 1, HP’s Partner One program gets replaced with HP Enterprise’s Partner Ready. Silver, Gold and Platinum levels will remain the same; a new portal will give partners visibility into a new pricing and MDF programs. And in what Dunsire called HP’s “biggest culture shift in a long time,” HPE Enterprise — the division selling servers, networking, and cloud services to businesses — will segment its account base into four parts and dedicate the smaller two exclusively to channel sales.
The four categories consist of 1) HPE’s top 60 global customers, 2) Fortune 500 enterprises, called Commercial One; 3) companies outside the Fortune 500 but with at least 1,000 seats, called Commercial Two (C2), and 4) small and midmarket.
SMB and midmarket companies are now sold 100 percent through the channel; starting Feb. 1, the Commercial Two level will be, too.
“We won’t pay our end-user sales teams on C2 or below unless it goes through a partner,” Dunsire said. “We are taking hundreds of millions in sales that have been coming to HP and we’re moving them out to partners; it’s now in the hands of regional directors, who are now setting up programs to move that from direct to a partner relationship,” he announced. “Here’s where I expect to get hugs and kisses.”
He didn’t get those, but he did receive enthusiastic applause.
Dunsire added that the new Enterprise division wasn’t motivated by benevolence: “At the end of the day, we cannot get to where we need to unless we invest in the channel.” To that end, the new division is also adding to its headcount, with another 36 personal selling areas and account managers responsible for generating demand. Additional solution architects, channel resources and program funding will be dedicated “to build more business into this white space” — i.e., the quarter of the market he believes HP is not addressing.
Dunsire added that HP’s recent Aruba networking acquisition provides great opportunity to expand platforms across the public sector, as well as commercial SMB and enterprise. HPE’s and Aruba’s channel programs will remain separate for one year; “they have a good consistent program that works,” he said.
Synnex is HP’s biggest distributor. Describing now as a great time to be doing business with his company, Dunsire also announced improvements to its reference architecture strategy, an “on-fire” storage business, and a 555-percent leap in flash storage. In networking, the combined HP and Aruba brands now claim a 20-percent market share.
He also announced that in response to reseller feedback, HP Enterprise will simplify its pricing strategy, effective Feb.1; partners will be trained until then.
“One Path pricing will make it simpler to price our products with predictability.” MDF is also being streamlined: “We were sending out $100, $200, $500 checks to thousands of partners. You wouldn’t even know why you got it,” he said. In the new “planned MDF” strategy, resellers will know what they have to spend quarterly. “We went to this planned MDF strategy that lets us invest in programs with you that will actually drive more demand on your behalf,” he said.