ProCurve set for massive channel boost

HP hopes to add approximately 100 skilled partners to its ProCurve networking programme in two new levels of reseller classification. The move sees the vendor’s programme reach out of the enterprise sector and into the smaller enterprise and small to medium business (SMB) market.

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By  Andy Tillett Published  July 13, 2005

HP hopes to add approximately 100 skilled partners to its ProCurve networking programme in two new levels of reseller classification. The move sees the vendor’s programme reach out of the enterprise sector and into the smaller enterprise and small to medium business (SMB) market. The programme will now have three tiers: professional, specialist and elite. The new channel segments are the professional and specialist; the elite group will consist of members of the original ProCurve scheme. There are currently three resellers in this group, targeting the enterprise sector. When the new scheme goes live, specialist partners will be solution integrators and professional partners will be those who can resell large volumes of product into corporate accounts. The partner scheme will be renamed the ProCurve Networking and Security (PNS) channel programme. “We had a lot of guys who were bringing in business but didn’t qualify for the scheme in its original form. We decide we needed a programme that outlined them as more than just standard business partners, and recognised those with the capability to eventually become elite partners,” said Ivan Kraemer, regional sales and marketing director at HP ProCurve networking business Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean. Kraemer says that the difference in terms of technical qualification between the specialist and elite partners will be small, but the criteria for becoming an elite partner remains very specific, requiring solid commitment to only supply HP networking products as well as the ability to provide a 24 hour services response. “The key thing is you can’t just say you are going to go into a country and name an elite partner, you need to put them through a training programme. That is why we wanted to extend the programme to include up and coming partners,” said Kraemer. “In order for this new programme to successfully, it is integral that we put in place the right training, support, marketing plans and other commitment to reach the end goal.” The channel expansion will see up to ten partners join the professional sector and ten partners added to the specialist tier in large countries and approximately three in each in smaller countries. Target countries for HP include Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The vendor will not immediately be adding more partners to the elite tier of the programme. “Our target is not to expand on the number of elite partners we have. We want to keep a low number so we can give them exclusivity and nurture their skills whilst bringing other partners up through the new tiers in the programme,” said Omar Hussein, partner business manager at HP ProCurve networking Middle East. The benefits the new PNS programme offers to resellers include account management, marketing tools, sales events based on skill sets, specialist training and access to a secure website with technical information. HP’s regional call centre will now have four members of staff dedicated to handling networking. Previously this was an area covered by one person. No new partners have been named as members of the PNS programme yet as the vendor is still in the process of assessing them. Previously HP partners serving the networking sector outside of the enterprise channel were members of its PartnerOne scheme. This measures partners’ progress on a general basis, rather than through their performance in any specialist area. These partners have the opportunity to apply for the new PNS programme, if they meet the qualification criteria, but spaces on the scheme will not be guaranteed.

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