The majority of Hewlett-Packard's 137 Preferred Partners in South Africa are not only happy doing business with the company, but would recommend it over other competitors. 


According to the results of HP's latest Total Partner Experience (TPE) survey, conducted among 4 000 Preferred Partners in 29 EMEA countries, nearly 80% of South African respondents are satisfied with their overall relationship with the vendor, and 90% of them would recommend HP to customers over other vendors.
The survey also measured HP against competitor vendors and it was rated above them in areas such as product quality, training and certification, co-marketing, and partner resource tools and incentives. More than 75% of partners felt that HP's partner programme impacted positively on their profitability.     
"Some of the most positive figures that came through were where HP was rated against its competitors," says Thierry Boulanger, manager for the Solutions Partner Organisation (SPO) South Africa. "Continuous improvement is non-negotiable and the focus is not so much on outdoing our competitors, but constantly working towards increasing the levels of partner satisfaction.
"HP's key business objectives are profitability, growth and partner satisfaction," Boulanger adds. "The only way we can achieve these is through working with our partners. It is therefore vital that we do our utmost to ensure their success."
Boulanger says that key focus areas for HP over the coming year will be pre- and post-sales support, and lead generation – areas identified as being key to partners' business.
"For SPO, the success of our channel strategy is a testament to the fact that the indirect model is the best way to go," Boulanger continues. "In 2007, the focus will be on continually improving what is already working for us and our partners."   
HP, he says, has always emphasised offering solutions as opposed to selling products, and has invested millions of dollars in developing and training its partners to better serve their customers. For 2007, the company plans an even greater focus on this with HP SPO's specialisations programme, aimed at growing HP partners to become specialists in specific HP technologies.
"The aim is that customers will know exactly where to find specialist partners in particular HP services, solutions and products ranging from networking specialists, to imaging and printing specialists," says Boulanger.