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HP enlists BT for SME dealer recruitment campaign

Wants 400 of the blighters

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Hewlett Packard yesterday embarked on a hard sell initiative with BT to enlist reseller help in the SME market. HP launched its Connect Small to Medium Business Programme as part of a roadshow to enlist 400 resellers in the scheme. The deal aims at the vendor's 1,200 small to medium resellers, and includes customer e-finance, a free HP Brio PC bundled with BT Highway -- BT's new digital communication service - and video conferencing capabilities. Bill Hill, HP SMB manager, asked for resellers' help to access this last bastion of the market. He said: "SMBs want to buy from other small, geographically close resellers. We are investing £250 million in this market, increasing this by 25 per cent over the next year." HP also introduced a scheme for resellers to gain reward points for a "jetsetter" account when they sell HP product. Robin Lawrence, BT alliance development manager, said 17 out of the 39 resellers that attended yesterday's presentation had signed up for BT Highway on the day. Yesterday was part of a nationwide roadshow, which has also visited Scotland, Bristol, Birmingham and will today be in Ealing. Lawrence estimated out of the 200 resellers that had so far attended, 64 had signed up. The e-finance program allows resellers to offer HP sme customers an Internet-based IT financing package. The minimum request for credit is £900, and HP promises to take on the credit and pay the reseller within seven days. The HP Instant Office PC includes a free pre-installed BT Speedway ISDN card. Connect resellers are offered a free HP Brio PC and 2000 CN InkJet printer, plus free BT Highway installation, if the reseller buys an Intel ProShare 500 videoconferencing kit for £319.®

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