HP continues on its quest to make the PartnerOne program better resonate with the channel, and make it simpler for partners to navigate. Building on the new membership branding, partner levels, and core compensation updates rolled out in June, HP’s latest enhancements to the PartnerOne program include new specializations in key growth areas, new competitive rebates, the creation of role-based certifications, and an improved partner portal.
In June, HP announced it was simplifying the partner program to offer a more predictable and profitable compensation model. This included streamlined certification requirements spanning all regions and multiple HP business units, including HP Enterprise Group, HP Software, and HP Printing and Personal Systems (PPS). HP also announced new PartnerOne membership levels-Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Business Partner-that will be consistent across business units and available in all regions.
HP is “doubling down with the channel organization,” says Jon Wayne, vice president, Americas Partner Development and Programs, for the PPS organization at HP. “[President and CEO Meg Whitman’s] priority is to really grow sales with the channel. She took a look at the existing programs, and asked us to simplify them and make them more profitable for partners, to provide more incentive to work with HP. She asked us to create a common structure across all regions, and across all business units.”
The new membership levels are intended to offer greater partner differentiation and be simpler and more intuitive for end customers, according to HP. HP will actively brand the highest partnership levels in end-user customer marketing campaigns.
At the Business Partner level there is no revenue threshold, just a business agreement, explains Wayne. “They will get access to all the core sales tools they need to be competitive-deal registration, spiff programs, demos, and any promotions we put through the channel organization.”
As partners scale, they get access to additional tools, but profitability is not capped, Wayne says. “Your profitability is endless; the more you sell the more you make.”
The levels, he adds, “are a lot simpler, and [make it] a lot clearer where you fall in the guidelines, and you can see the level of investment from HP. I think it’s really big, to have a business agreement and get access to deal registration and lock in value, the same as a large partner.”
The base level of partners “is extremely important to us,” he says. “We don’t want to restrict smaller partners, and we don’t want to lock anybody out.”
Streamlining and Specializations
As part of the June enhancements, HP streamlined its certification process, reducing the number of technical certifications. And HP’s latest PartnerOne enhancements include role-based certifications that require significantly less time out of office for individuals enrolled in these courses. For example, the number of exams required to obtain an Accredited Technical Professional (ATP) Server certification will drop by 80 percent in 2014, compared with 2013.
HP is increasing PartnerOne specializations in key growth areas, including cloud, big data, and services. In addition, the company’s new Cloud Partner Solution Navigator will help customers locate the right HP partner to help them as they migrate to the cloud.
Further, the company is expanding the HP PartnerOne compensation model announced in June, and is now listing new competitive rebate rates for each HP PartnerOne level in the HP PartnerOne Compensation Matrix, which can be accessed through the partner portals. HP has also updated branding and enhanced the partner portal navigation experience.
Wayne says HP has been working with partners to let them know what level they are at in the new structure and what it means to them. “The amount of money these guys can make has increased exponentially because we’re not capping it.”
HP’s SMB council has been providing a lot of the feedback for the partner changes, he says, and the reaction to the changes “so far has been extremely positive. The programs we’re opening up to them with no revenue bar is the right strategy moving forward.”