HP Global Partner Conference, Las Vegas – As expected, global IT giant HP today bolstered its Converged Infrastructure strategy with a number of product announcements in various categories, but arguably the most significant news was around the enhancements it is making to its long-standing partner programme, PartnerOne.

About 3 000 delegates broke into spontaneous applause when CEO Meg Whitman announced the new, improved programme, more specifically when she revealed the company would be removing all targets, gates and caps for their partners.

“The big news today is that we are looking to enhance the profitability of our partners and are implementing a simplified compensation structure whereby partners can earn rebate from the first sale,” Whitman says. “We are removing all caps and allowing unlimited payouts. Our objective is to be the most profitable partner you do business with and we will also make our compensation structure much more predictable.”

Whitman is fond of pointing out that she is a former customer of HP and that the channel is close to her heart.

“One of the things I’ve learnt [since joining HP] is the importance of our channel,” she says. “Our channel partners have literally built HP around the globe and many of you have been partners not for years, but for decades.

“I say to everyone I can that I love our channel – it is a huge part of HP and it is a huge part of our future.”

While HP normally invests around $500-million annually in its channel, this year it will spend about $1,5-billion on its partner programmes looking to reward performance, drive demand and simplify partner engagement.

This year its mantra to the channel is “the more you invest, the more we will reward”.

The key enhancements to PartnerOne announced today are:

  • Implementing a simplified, consistent compensation model that removes rebate revenue gates and caps to improve partner revenue predictability. This provides clearer visibility to the amount of rebates so partners start getting rewarded from the first sale, opening the door to virtually unlimited earning potential.
  • Increasing rebates for higher specialist designations, delivering more opportunities to increase profitability.
  • Extending the amount of time partners have to use their marketing development funds (MDF) from three months to six months, providing more flexibility around both marketing activities and cash flow.
  • Rationalising and simplifying sales and technical certifications in the HP ExpertOne training platform, while maintaining the integrity of individual certifications and making it easier for partners to gain the sales and technical skills to competently service and support HP customers.