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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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March 18, 2019 |

HP Updates Portals, Training Resources, and Financing Program

Announced on day one of the manufacturer’s Reinvent conference in Houston, the changes are designed to help partners sell faster while responding to increased demand for subscription-based purchasing options.

HP Inc. has announced changes to its partner portals, training site, and financing programs aimed at helping its nearly 21,000 Partner First program members sell faster in a market increasingly hungry for subscription-based purchasing options.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based manufacturer unveiled the updates on day one of its Reinvent partner conference in Houston.

In a process set to begin in April and unfold gradually over the ensuing six to eight months, HP will roll its Partner First portal into its Sales Central site to create a unified sales, marketing, administrative, and operational resource. The combined tool will help partners complete deals faster by reducing the number of interfaces they must interact with during and after the sales process, according to Dave Lobato, head of worldwide digital sales engagement platforms at HP.

“When you have folks within your business who have multiple touchpoints when they’re trying to conduct business with us, reducing that actually helps them be more efficient and effective,” he says.

The merged portal, which will utilize the Sales Central name, will feature a support chatbot designed to help users search for needed answers about 80,000 active HP print and PC products as well as over 240,000 discontinued SKUs. Users locate information three times faster on average using the bot, according to Lobato, and save 35 to 55 minutes per week.

Coming to Sales Central as well this summer is a gamification-as-a-service offering designed to boost completion of interactive sales training programs by rewarding users for participating in course-related challenges and competitions. The new resource, which will include a virtual store where users can redeem accumulated points, increased engagements rates by more than 3,500x in pilot tests.

“It’s very compelling to users when they come into a platform and there’s some sort of competitive environment,” Lobato says. “It just improves their ability to learn, it improves their ability to transfer knowledge, it improves their ability to engage.”

Sales Central is one of HP’s most popular resources among partners, Lobato adds.

Also in the works for an official launch later this year is a new financing program called HP Integrated Financial Solutions. Unlike prior offerings, the new one will partner with multiple funding sources, including two “strategic global providers” plus a mix of additional local and regional institutions. Expanding from one financing partner to many will reduce risk for HP by widening its credit options and also increase access to global markets, according to Head of Worldwide Leasing and Financing Deborah Baker.

“If you deal with a single provider, you’re only in as many countries as that provider is in,” she says. “Once we’re able to leverage a multi-vendor strategy, then we can really begin to scale across all of the countries that we’re interested in moving into.”

The new program will benefit partners as well, Baker continues, by delivering instant credit approvals, automated document management, electronic signature collection, and other new capabilities to mobile as well as desktop devices. “Portals and mobile apps will enable channel partners to provide quotes and close deals anywhere, anytime, while providing a really best-in-class customer as well as partner experience,” Baker says.

HP Integrated Financial Solutions will offer more flexible financing offers as well. “That could mean a variable payment structure aligned to revenue, or customized terms to match cash flow or seasonality,” says Baker.

HP has also revamped HP University, the training platform it first introduced in September 2017. The new, streamlined version of that site places greater emphasis on coursework that helps partners develop service practices and add recurring revenue streams. Role-based materials will be available for both PC- and print-related topics.

That change, like most of the other revisions announced today, is part of a larger effort on HP’s part to transition from an era of transactional hardware acquisition to a new age of subscription-based, “everything-as-a-service” purchasing, according to Mary Beth Walker, HP’s global head of channel.

“Our world, our industry, and our partners, are undergoing a dramatic shift. Together with our partners we’re adapting to these changes and engaging in a multi-year journey to transform our go-to-market model,” she says.

Credit the buying habits of millennial and “Generation Z” customers for that transformation, Walker continues. “Their preference for a standard recurring monthly payment, like they pay for their Netflix subscription, or monthly installments for their mobile phone, is influencing their decisions as they acquire commercial products and services,” she says.

New training programs and financing schemes like those introduced today are designed to help partners adapt to those changing expectations. “While many of our partners rely on a more transactional business at this point, their business will look dramatically different in a few years,” Walker says.

HP has a subscription-priced managed print program as well as a device-as-a-service offering for desktops, notebooks, and mobile devices. The latter program, which debuted in June 2016, added support for hardware from Apple a little over a year ago.

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