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HP Streamlines its Partner First Program

HP today unveiled updates to its innovative HP Partner First Program at its Global Partner Conference, aimed at helping partners drive sales and increase the speed and ease of doing business with HP.

The HP Partner First Program updates include:

  • A simplified structure with streamlined membership levels and compensation
  • An upgraded HP Co-Marketing Zone that makes it easier to activate marketing campaigns
  • A new HP Social Media Center designed to help partners demonstrate their expertise via social networks.

“Our channel community is key to HP’s continued growth, and we want to empower them to take on more of our business going forward,” said Thomas Jensen, vice president and head of worldwide channel sales strategy at HP. “We reshaped the Partner First program based on partner feedback and now have a program that provides the insights and tools they need to grow and evolve with the market.”

The revamped HP Partner First program offers more value to channel partners while radically simplifying the way each interacts with HP. It also plays into partners’ selling strengths and broadens the solutions they can offer to their customers.

HP Partner First now features three primary membership tiers – platinum, gold and silver – allowing HP to better focus on the needs of partners at this level. In addition, HP is empowering its distribution partners to increase support offered to current HP Business Partners. This ensures that all partners can draw from contacts who have the knowledge, relationships and flexibility to match the pace of their businesses.

Within the program, partners across each level have an opportunity to tap into new sales tracks tied to volume selling, global systems integration and specialized solutions. This new structure will help partners increase sales success by selecting and working within the tracks that best tap their areas of expertise and customer needs. The volume track focuses on print supplies, printers and PCs.

There is a track dedicated to global systems integrators, and specialization tracks enable partners to build competencies around select products, services and contractual solutions. Through specializations, partners gain an expertise in offerings aligned to market trends. New areas of focus – including A3, Device as a Service (DaaS) and mobility – are planned to roll out through the first half of 2017.

In an effort to make it easier for partners worldwide to navigate the HP compensation processes more quickly and efficiently, the updated HP Partner First Program also features a simplified and globally standardized compensation model. The new framework eliminates redundancies, features fewer variables on which partners are measured and focuses on three key categories: core compensation, specialists and new business opportunities.

HP Inc. also expanded its online marketing resource for partners. The new HP Co-Marketing Zone Plus (CMZ+), is a one-stop portal for creating customized, co-branded marketing materials. Partners using CMZ+ to create campaigns can now upload target customer lists into the system and launch local or global outreach using one of five online modules – co-branded collateral marketing; electronic direct mail (EDM) marketing; microsite marketing; event marketing or search marketing management – directly from the portal. This cuts the time it takes to create campaigns in half, ultimately saving partners time and resources that can be spent on demand generation.

Once campaigns are executed through CMZ+, partners can track their effectiveness, return on investment (ROI), performance and pipeline development worldwide. “By converting our portal into an end-to-end solution, we improve the speed, ease and efficiency with which our partners can execute, track and adjust their demand generation campaigns,” said Vincent Brissot, vice president and head of channel marketing and operations at HP. “The enhancements save our partners time that can be focused on growing their businesses and satisfying their customers’ specific needs.”

In addition, HP redesigned its online portal experience, providing partners more direct access to the content they value the most. Those offering a specialized solution will be directed to landing pages featuring a simplified search process and details tied to their solution when logging into HP Sales Central. The update is rolling out with a focus on A3 and will extend to other products over the next year.

According to HP, the growing influence of social media on the sales cycle is undeniable, and nearly 75 percent of buyers use social media to learn more about solutions. Tapping into this trend, HP unveiled the Social Media Center (SMC) as part of HP Sales Central.

SMC tees up strategic industry content on a variety of topics and HP news that partners can share with their followers across major social channels. Offering a variety of customizable content, SMC helps partners positon themselves as subject matter experts within their social spheres of influence. The Social Media Center, which led to a dramatic increase in social followers during a pilot this spring, will roll out globally through year’s end.

“The goal of the many changes we’ve made across program is to position all of our partners – regardless of program status – to quickly and easily win and grow together with HP,” said Jensen.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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