Under changes to the program introduces at its Global Partner Conference here this week, HP announced that distributors, OEMs, ISVs and other groups of partners who had previously been other programs will be brought into PartnerOne starting November 1, the beginning of its next fiscal year.
Patrick Eitenbichler, director of PartnerOne strategy at HP, called the change an acknowledgement that many partners fit under a number of business models, and that maintaining multiple programs for a single partner made things unnecessarily complex for that partner.
Under the plan, all HP partner programs will be tiered the same way – Business, Silver, Gold, Platinum – with a single contract across all partner types, albeit with different addendums and details depending on the specifics of that partner type’s relationship with HP. HP will also move to a single MDF structure for all types of partners with the move, although details will vary from partner type to partner type.
“Our partners need to span multiple business models, they need to be com more than just one thing, and there are plenty of examples of partners out there who are already doing that,” Eitenbichler said.
The company will continue to base PartnerOne, and the tools under it, around its Unison platform, a $100 million investment in partner portal and tools first announced at last year’s GPC here, and brought online starting last May. Along with the basics of a PartnerOne-wide portal, the company has introduce new capabilities based on Unison, including a tool that Eitenbichler said is about to automate about 70 per cent of special pricing requests, getting back to partners in a few hours rather than a few days.
HP also announced that its cloud partner programs will be brought under the PartnerOne umbrella starting November 1. That will include programs for cloud builders (already up in the U.S. and slated to launch in Canada in May), cloud builders (previously branded as its CloudAgile partner program), and a new program for resellers of cloud technologies. To reach the top tier Platinum level in PartnerOne for Cloud, partners will have to hold specializations in two of those three categories, Eitenbichler said. HP is making the move because it sees an increasing urgency in partners making the transition to providing cloud services, or at least including options for cloud service in the solutions they market.
“Partners need to move in that direction now, while their traditional revenue stream is still going just fine,” Eitenbichler said, adding that those who wait a couple of more years, and try to make the move when traditional project-based businesses are more pressured than today will find the move all the harder.
The company also announced plans to make it easier for multi-national partners to work with HP. Under the new plans, partners will need to earn Gold or Platinum status in two or more countries in order to be recognized at that tier in other countries where they have presence. The program will allow partners to get a single big deal pricing in their headquarters country, and then ship under that pricing in all countries where they’re recognized with PartnerOne status.
While HP has made great strides towards getting its partner program all under the same roof, it admittedly still has quite a bit of room to go. While its PPS and enterprise group partner programs are almost fully integrated under PartnerOne, there’s still the matter of its global integrators, alliance partners, service providers, and a variety of HP Software-related partner programs that need to be brought into the structure. Eitenbichler said that the company’s next goal will be to get those units into the PartnerOne framework, and then to start to refresh and enhance the tools available to partners across all tiers.