HP to create new telco and service provider channel programme

HP sign with a tree and blue skies in the background

HP (NYSE:HPQ) is creating a new channel partner programme specifically designed for telecommunication and service providers with scope for more flexible equipment ownership, deal registration, MDF and financing agreements.

Kevin Matthews, HP UK and Ireland channel manager for enterprise servers, storage and networking, described a 2011 UK strategy that will, “focus on driving more breadth into our channel.”

The programme is currently under development internally at HP and will launch in Q4 of this year. “[The programme is] a formalised channel model that includes hosting organisations. So were now working to formally integrate it but it does not preclude channel partners from working with us now,” explains Matthews. The new channel programme will also provide a structure for partners who want to resell HP cloud services including its Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute delivered from its own datacentres.

The new tier will cover the gamut from smaller hosted service providers all the way through to larger telecommunication providers. “At a base level we will have a contract that allows them to interact with us as a partner but retain title on products,” adds Matthews.

Other areas will include market development funds, deal registrations for hosted service providers and categorisation to allow the HP internal sales force to push business to accredited service provider partners.

“My intelligence tells me that there is no one vendor that has as robust a channel model that addresses this sector…we are seeing cloud move from hype to reality and we want to be there.

“We are developing some of the smaller and mid market partners, more than we have in the past, there is a great opportunity to work with the partners that have done well in the recession, even partners that are a little bit niche,” he comments.

Part of this plan is to assist these partners with a larger team of channel support managers and additional subject matter experts in areas such as storage and networking to help drive business. Matthews also confirmed that the 3PAR channel has at least doubled in size since the takeover by HP. 3PAR which did the bulk of the sales direct prior to acquisition is now closer to a 50/50 split and, in his view, will likely move to predominately channel over the course of year.