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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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December 10, 2012 |

HP Making It Easier for Partners to Do Business

The company has rolled out several initiatives to simplify and streamline processes and boost competitive advantage for SMB resellers.

HP knows there is a huge market opportunity in the SMB space, but partners trying to close a deal with a five-person business shouldn’t have to spend the same amount of time as partners selling into large enterprises. That was a problem, says Matt Smith, HP’s director, Americas Partner Marketing, Printing and Personal Systems. HP, he says, recognized it needed to become easier to do business with. The recent rollouts of the Discount for Value Pricing and the Extended Financing Program are just two of several efforts the company has made to simplify and streamline how partners work with HP.

“There is a $30 billion opportunity we see for HP in the SMB overall,” Smith says. “When we looked at the market and listened to customers and partners, it kept coming up over and over that we’ve got a great portfolio, we’ve got a great relationship, but it’s still too hard to do business. It’s too complicated, and still too enterprise focused.”

So, Smith says, HP asked itself some key questions: What do we need to get someone on and off the phone in two minutes in a sales conversation and close that customer? What programs do we need? What demand-generation activities? What products? And do we have the right sales force?

To better serve the SMB market, and address those key questions, HP has rolled out several programs. One is HP iQuote, a cloud service for channel sales configuration and quoting, designed to simplify the process of selling HP products and maximize revenue and margin on every sale. Smith says partners can access iQuote on the partner portal and through distributors that offer HP iQuote on their own sites. The intent, he says, is to be able to “configure, quote, get technical specs” in less than two minutes.

Another initiative is the HP Partner Concierge. “Sometimes it’s hard to navigate HP,” Smith acknowledges. Partners want to know, “who do I talk to, what are the discounts, who’s my salesperson, and other issues.” So HP created a concierge site that partners can access via any media – phone, email, chat, or the website. “It can navigate you through HP in record speed. We’re trying to minimize or decrease the lag time from question to answer.”

For partners that bring added value, HP has recently introduced Discount for Value Pricing (DVP) to protect the investment a partner makes in HP during the new business development process. With approved DVP, the partner receives a unique price for that specific project, with the intent of providing a competitive edge.

Smith says many partners dive deeper into accounts, and may bring in equipment and give demos. Then, he says, the potential deal goes to a procurement desk for bidding. DVP is intended to make the partner competitive in that process.

“A lot of our partners [act as consultants] for end users and win [deals] at the C level,” Smith explains. When those deals go to procurement desks, he says a lot of the value is lost in the transition. DVP is “a level of protection, to recoup the value [the partner] brought in. It’s not a slam dunk where no one else can touch [the price], but all things being equal it should be enough to win the business and recoup some of the investment.”

DVP followed on the heels of the Extended Financing Program, which enables 60-day, interest-free payment terms for qualified resellers on eligible HP Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) products. The extended financing helps partners because “[they] have to procure the products, software, networking, build it, test it, and drop off at the customer,” notes Smith. “That takes time, and they’re not going to get their money until they deliver it to the customer.”

So what’s next? HP will be developing a lead-generation tool for partners, says Smith, as well as adding commercial products to consumer lines and making them available through partners. “It comes down to cool products we see SMBs want to buy.” With Windows 8, he sees an opportunity for a resurgence in the Windows environment, “and HP is leading on that.”

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