HP preparing major small to medium business campaign

Worldwide SMB campaign sees introduction of loyalty scheme for SMB customers and new sales solutions for second tier partners

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By  Mark Sutton Published  October 21, 2003

HP is set to launch a number of new initiatives aimed at the SMB market after Gitex this year. The launches are part of a worldwide SMB campaign by HP that will build on the new PartnerOne programme announced last month.

The first part of the campaign will be a loyalty programme for SMB customers. The EMEA-level scheme will be web based, and will allow customers to redeem points earned for purchases of HP products to gain rewards including HP services and consulting.

Christoph Schell, general manager of HP Middle East's Personal Systems Group (PSG), says that the scheme will not only drive channel business, but also increase the scope of business for non-contractual sales and service partners (SSPs).

"All the sales will go through partners, and all the services will go through partners as well. By not only enabling our partners to sell hardware on our behalf, but selling services too, we believe that the [business] mix is going to improve," Schell says. "Similarly we want to be able to better understand who are our non-contractual SSPs that really add value, so we can grow in a focused manner with the partners that want to grow."

HP will leverage its new production facilites in Saudi Arabia to meet SMB demand, and is also considering some new solutions for SMBs.
"At this moment in time we are not interested in marketing alliance partner products, simply because we believe our product offering is big enough, and we want to get our message across. This might mean that we go into Linux offerings for the SMB. I am very positively surprised about the growth of Linux that I see in PSG, and I believe there is momentum for SMB Linux solutions as well," he says.

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