HP outlines growth targets and overhauls PPP

An increased emphasis on technology specialisations and partner loyalty is set to be the main feature of HP’s revised Preferred Partner Programme.

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By  Andrew Seymour in Barcelona Published  September 21, 2006

An increased emphasis on technology specialisations and partner loyalty initiatives is set to be the main feature of HP’s revised Preferred Partner Programme, due to be formally announced later this week. Around 650 of HP’s leading EMEA resellers are in Barcelona awaiting details of the modifications — the first significant changes that HP has made to the scheme since its launch. In addition to addressing partner loyalty, HP is expected to introduce a range of new leasing options that cater for all sections of its diverse product portfolio. Improvements to its Smart Suite set of tools — a key component of the one-year old channel programme — will also be confirmed by HP as it seeks to arm partners with the intellectual property they need to stay ahead of the competition. The overhaul comes as US-based HP urges its key partners in the region to raise the bar and outpace market growth. “My goal for next year is to grow the Solution Partner Organisation by 5% in dollar terms,” said Jos Brenkel, VP SPO at HP EMEA. “But that growth has to come from more than just a great go-to-market integration with partners — it has to come from taking the capabilities we have delivered over the past 12 months and driving into a much more customer focused environment. I do not believe we are customer focused enough end-to-end,” he added. According to Brenkel, HP has grown 3% in dollar terms in EMEA during the past 12 months, buoyed by healthy demand in the enterprise server and storage sector. But he reiterated the need to grow faster. “3% in dollars is about the same as 5% or 6% in local currency, but we’ve got to be growing closer to 5% in dollars and closer to 8% to 10% in local currency,” he said. Critics of HP certainly can’t fault the level of investment the vendor has made in galvanising its channel since the September 2005 launch of the Preferred Partner Programme — a scheme designed to help customers identify resellers with specific expertise in areas where they require a solution. “Over the last 12 months we have invested over US$200m in channel compensation and over US$8m in certification and training,” revealed Brenkel. “Over US$100m has gone into joint marketing and branding the Preferred Partners to customers — because telling customers where to buy product and get a consistent user experience was a key element of our strategy — and we’ve invested over US$30m in channel programmes.” However, HP does not intend to rest on its laurels and insists there will be no room for weaker players in the updated Programme. “If partners don’t meet the criteria we will change them. We’ll get about 15% of partners that will drop out as we launch the new Preferred Programme, and we’ll bring a couple more in,” admitted Brenkel.

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