Today at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington D.C., HP is announcing the Mobilize Your Business Program, a new joint program with Microsoft and Intel designed to assist partners capture more share of the growing commercial mobility market.
“We have been focused on the commercial play in the mobility space, and are announcing a focused program where we really look at the commercial aspects of how to bring the best of Microsoft, HP and Intel together, from hardware to how we go to market,” said Michael Park, Vice President of Strategy and Product Management for Printing and Personal Systems at HP.
Park said HP believes the industry is now in the mid-phases of the BYOD phenomenon, where almost half of organizations are making changes to their business processes, workflow and employee roles to better incorporate mobility, but where the issues of management and security are now top of mind in the commercial market.
“We believe there is an opportunity to build solution capability that looks at the gamut of mobility with security applications and services,” Park said. “Many folks in mobility come at it from a consumer angle, but this can’t just be device-centric and we can do better than that, by threading together the pieces that will be required for the commercial market. It’s a multimillion dollar investment from HP, Intel and Microsoft.”
The Mobilize Your Business Program both reaches out to educate commercial customers, and enables channel partners with new training, sales and enablement tools, and marketing resources around mobile workplace solutions.
“Every channel partner can sell tablets already, and that’s not what the program is about,” said Vincent Brissot, HP’s Vice President of Worldwide Channel Marketing for Printing and Personal Systems. “We talked to partners about this, and they said that things to just help them sell product had no value to them, that we had to reach much further, and position the product into a much wider scope within verticals.
HP product, such as its tablets, two-in-one notebooks and retail point-of-sale solutions, are a key part of the program, but its focus is more on its total integration into workplace solutions.
“One of the things that’s different here, is that from a product standpoint, we delivered devices and were very transactional, and now here we are really thinking collectively across devices, hardware, software and services, so partners can be trained on the integration and move faster,” Park said. “In the past, the partners had to do a lot of work by themselves.”
Park also noted the range of the HP Smart Jacket ecosystem for the ElitePad 1000, and how they contribute to a distinctive HP mobility solutions portfolio. These include the Expansion Jacket, which extends battery life and adds additional ports and an SD card slot, the Productivity Jacket, which provides a built-in keyboard, two ports, a card slot and adjustable stand, and the Security Jacket, which provides a multifactor user authentication through smart card support and a fingerprint reader.
“These are all wrapped around products created for the commercial enterprise, not consumers,” Park said. “The jackets allow us to build a comprehensive solution around that.”
The program features a full suite of training, sales, and marketing resources for partners provided by HP, Intel and Microsoft. They include a specialized channel certification program, marketing support and sales support.
The new channel certification program is designed specifically for HP and Microsoft authorized resellers, and will include training, certification, incentives and rebates.
“The certifications will be vertical-centric, and are being worked on as we speak,” Brissot said. “There will be one track with multiple electives, focused on verticals.” Education, healthcare, retail & hospitality, and travel & transportation and manufacturing & construction are considered particularly important.
Brissot said the program is designed to touch two type of partners, those who are conventional resellers and those who are specialized around mobility. The program has both low touch and high touch elements, with the low touch, which includes things like display cards, white boards, role play dialogue, being targeted at conventional resellers. The specialists will also receive a higher level of benefits which include certification.
Brissot said these more focused partners will also benefit from the strong marketing resources dedicated to the program.
“One thing these partners will see, as we run demand generation campaigns is that we will funnel leads to the partners we have identified as very competent, which will help them grow their business,” he said. “There will be much stronger leads, and much stronger education, and leads funneled to the right partners.”
The marketing support will also include roadshows, internal training, and specific incents around solutions HP particularly wants to drive. Brissot said that there will be increased investments in MDF for partners to reach out, and an attractive specialized compensation scheme, similar to the one which HP uses for managed print services.
Sales enablement support will include access to HP sales plays, cross-selling resources, and customer assessment support.
“We will share content on how to best position offers,” Brissot indicated. “A partner will know how to sell a tablet, but they may not know as much about selling the solution that goes with it.”
HP mobility hardware offerings are available now, with training, sales, and marketing resources rolling out this summer. The full Mobilize Your Business Program for channel partners will be available to partners beginning Fall 2014.