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HP warns channel types ahead of split: Hold on, it's gonna get bumpy

Vendor outlines series of programmes to make sure things "don't break'

HP GPC 2015 The first day at HP’s Global Partner knees-up was programme heavy with schemes aimed at smoothing the split between the organisation - pre and post event - which the business fully admits is going to get bumpy.

First up is Partner Navigator, exclusively revealed by us last week, which involves HP providing a funded head in the top two hundred largest distributor and reseller customers to oversee the operational impact.

Sue Barsamian, senior deep of indirect sales at the Enterprise Group, said it watched from afar the mistakes made by IBM and Lenovo is the transfer of the System x division with some partners still awaiting rebates for legacy sales.

“We use them as an example of what not to do,” she told us.

The funded head programme started a month ago, with HP agreeing to pay the wages of an individual reseller or distie employee working in the internal HP account that understand the way the partner’s internal processes; EDI, order management and billing.

HP wants to avoid issues that beset IBM and Lenovo in the US when on day one partners and customers could not order kit because the internal systems did not match up.

The scheme runs until the end of the calendar year to ensure any issues are identified and cleaned up - at least that is the plan.

The other 159,800 channel partners HP has worldwide buy via distribution so they should not experience the same level of upheaval when HP splits the PC and print businesses from the rest of the operation on 1 November.

But these companies will also get access to the HP Support Centre - headcount has been increased - to answer any burning questions they have.

The second component is the Partner One Alliance programme, the re-imagining of the Partner One scheme, due to launch from the start of November, HP’s new fiscal year.

“In spite of the separation we are going forward as strong industry alliance partners,” said Barsamian, [we’ll have] a series of Alliance manager at worldwide and regional levels to make sure we don’t break and we optimise sale motions”.

The dedicated Alliance teams will “collaborate to build joint business and marketing plans” based on specific product “solutions”. The service is open to Platinum, Gold and Silver channel suppliers.

The main goals of the Alliance is to simplify engagement with HP - communication, reference architecture tools - but it will also work to cut costs for HP in terms of joint sponsorship of events, advertising, and demand generation.

The senior exec and regional management team are in place, HP has programme to help smooth over the separation, but admits the break-up will be complex - the largest corporate divorce in history that will result in two Fortune 500 businesses.

Page Murray, veep of world-wide channel marketing, said:

“We don’t expect this will be easy, that is why we have Navigator because we know [the separation] will be complex… it won’t be without ripples and bumps but we have the technology platforms, Navigator and Alliance”.

The two things partners demand of vendors are consistency and predictability, both will be fully tested to the limit by HP’s move, not to mention other dramatic changes in the market from Lenovo and Symantec.

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