To date, HP has had a few channel relationships around its HP Anywhere and Asset Catalogue software lineups, but with the launch of the new channel program, which will sit inside the PartnerOne uber-umbrella, the company is looking to formalize relationships and “engage in a more succinct, formal, and ongoing basis,” said Genefa Murphy, director of product management and user experience for HP Software.
“We see an opportunity to help our partners on their mobile journey in a number of ways, and to build an ecosystem around that,” Murphy said of the new program.
From the outset, the program will focus largely on training and enablement, necessary to get the foothold HP wants to get on mobile application development and mobile application management with the program. Under the new program, the company will offer face-to-face training, and will convene its first partner advisory board dedicated to mobility at its HP Discover event in June.
The program is designed to act as an accelerator for partners who have already taken their first steps towards building a mobility practice, or as a way to kickstart such a practice for those ready to invest but not yet in-market. Under the program, HP will provide training and enablement, but will also present members with application development leads, and the right of first refusal on those opportunities.
“We’ll give them the chance to go in, deliver that first app, and then expand the opportunity with additional apps or with their own value-added services wrapped around it,” Murphy said.
The program will primarily focus on partners familiar to PartnerOne already, but with the new program taking on new directions outside of the sweet spot of many HP channel partners today – namely application development – Murphy acknowledged there would be opportunities to bring in new-to-HP partners with more experience in those fields, and less with HP, as well. Still, the company is seeing this as a relatively small group. Murphy said she hopes to get the program to 10 to 15 partners in its first year, and plot a course from there.
Given that small base, Muprhy suggested the program will probably not be aimed at some of HP’s larger MSPs and service integrators, but rather seek to foster partners looking to build out a true mobility practice. Vertical focus will also be key, as HP is looking for partners to help deliver the line-of-business apps that various industries are seeking.
“We want to use this as a testing ground to make sure we’re building the right initiative for our partners. We have products in the marketplace, but they’re still quite new, and partner expertise is still developing,” she said. “We don’t want to ship this into the big HP machine just yet. We want go one-on-one, develop the program, and deliver in our partners’ needs.”
That said, the company is also working with distributor Avnet Technology Solutions to package up services around mobile application development, and to augment their existing mobility services lineup using HP’s toolset. Avnet Services’ typical modus operandi is to create a bundle of services, and then offer it out to a broader portion of the channel community than the HP Anywhere Partner Program would initially include.