HP, like other OEMs who deal in desktop and notebook systems, is gearing up for Microsoft’s Windows 10 launch a week from now. While the company has been focusing on the new Windows-powered devices it will have available for the launch, it also has a detailed strategy around the messaging it wants partners to provide, and how the company will assist them to provide it.
“We believe this launch is very important for the consumer market, but we also think it is a very strong play for our channel partners in the commercial space,” said Vincent Brissot, Channel Marketing VP at HP. “The pace of adoption in larger enterprises will be slower, but we think that companies with 10-100 employees will pick this up more quickly, and that is where partners should be focusing.”
Brissot also emphasized that the key takeaway for partners will be to focus on security.
“They should talk with customers about everything relating to the security aspects of it,” he said. “There is the expectation Windows 10 will get rid of some of the gaps and difficulties people had with Windows. We also believe the security is superior to all the other vendor offerings here, and want them to let customers know going with HP is the most secure way. No one else has the same type of functionality. We began working two years ago with Microsoft on the product part of this, so that partners will have an unparalleled offering. We have worked to make sure we have the world’s most secure personal systems.”
This includes features like HP Sure Start, a unique self-healing BIOS-level protection which returns the BIOS to its original state if it detects tampering, HP Client Security, a suite of pre-installed, integrated solutions that let IT easily manage and deploy endpoint protection, and HP Touchpoint Manager, which lets organizations deploy a single, unified security model across PCs and mobile devices and receive alerts when an issue is detected.
Brissot stressed that their main differentiator here is that they do have a differentiated offering.
“We need partners to emphasize this, especially on security, which is the biggest point,” he said. “We start by helping the partner having the right speech. Being effective here is more than just promotions.
“The partner education and training has already started,” Brissot continued. “We had our first joint Microsoft-HP webinar two weeks ago for American and Canadian partners on this, and are doing workshops with our Platinum and Gold partners, going on site and educating them about this. We are emphasizing the need for their proactive reaching out to customers on top of what we are doing.” A Canadian tour to educate partners is also planned between mid-August and December.
In Canada, HP is also reaching out to partners here with their marketing service agency, Starshot, where any partner can reach out to the agency to help with channel development programs around Windows 10.
“Starshot will design brand campaigns with co-branded marketing assets and other co-marketing materials on the partner’s behalf, using HP assets,” Brissot said. “For smaller partners, we put assets into our co-marketing zone where partners can add their own logo and send out campaigns to their own customers.”
HP’s partner portal has been armed with new material around the launch.
“We have unique propositions with our hardware and software which is not well expressed by partners,” Brissot said. “This material will help them position and stress these themes where we are better on Windows 10. All this material is accessible through self-education.”
One key promotion is being offered around Windows 10.
Additional MDF funds in conjunction with Microsoft to support Windows 10 migration efforts with customers have also been added.
“This kicked off in August, to make some noise, and will last for six months,” Brissot said. “Those with a plan to support Windows 10 activities are eligible to receive funding. It won’t happen by itself.
Incentives in HP’s Blue Carpet spiff program have also been activated to support the launch.
All HP commercial devices introduced from 2012 on will have Win10 driver support as of Microsoft’s release to world date, and all commercial devices shipping as of mid-August will have Win10 pre-installed and web supported.