HP lets up on 1000 seat reseller rule

Hewlett-Packard Co. is looking to deliver more business into the hands of its channel partners, announcing that it will now give resellers the opportunity to retain customers with more than 1000 seats.

Previously, the vendor would have looked to take this type of business direct.

HP Solutions Partner Organisation director, Martin Dare, said the decision to soften the line in the sand followed an announcement from CEO, Mark Hurd, at its global partner conference a couple of months ago.

Hurd said HP wanted more loyalty from partners and would reciprocate that commitment.

“Customers with upwards of 1000 seats are attractive to HP and its partners,” Dare said.

However resellers would need to demonstrate cross-selling, up-selling and attach rates in these accounts, he said. They would also be reviewed every three months.

“We want to make sure partners are doing everything they can to secure HP sales, but we also want to help them maximize their own profitability.”

HP has built a team of about a dozen internal sales staff that are only rewarded for personal systems group (PSG) channel sales, according to Dare.

A similar number would be appointed to its technology solutions group (TSG) early next year, together with another six for its imaging and printing group (IPG). TSG looks after enterprise solution products like high-end server and storage.

BCA IT managing director, Stephen Harrington, said the HP announcement was positive news for the channel.

“I think it is recognition that going direct isn’t always the best option in large accounts,” he said. “It sends a clear statement to HP reps in the field that they can’t make approaches like they have in the past.”

Dare estimated PSG currently had about 85 end-user organizations that it serviced directly but said there were about another 200 that had more than 1000 seats and currently dealt with resellers.

He said the numbers were similar for IPG and TSG.

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