HP Canada makes its NBO

HP Canada’s channel chief, Dave Frederickson, outlined three pillars for building partner engagements in 2008 at the vendor’s Americas Partner Conference.The three pillars are: targeted growth, becoming the best place to do business with in the channel, and mutual profitability.

Starting this year, HP will ask its partner base to take the lead on accounts predominantly in the SMB and the higher mid-market. HP Canada will provide sales and lead resources to help them close deals.

“They’ll be tasked to own this. My organization will be responsible for facilitating the planning, communications, forecasting, marketing and lead generation,” Frederickson said.

Inside HP Canada, Frederickson has made changes to accelerate growth, such as reworking internal compensation plans. For example, HP reps were previously able to retire their quota simply by selling to the existing installed base. That will no longer be the case, and they will be after new business with partners.

Pillar No. 2 will see some dramatic changes to the way partners are paid. The New Business Opportunity program (NBO) will provide rebates up front instead of on the back end.

Pat Waid, president of Montreal-based Hartco, said previous to the NBO announcement that something had to be done in the area of back end rebates.

“Solution selling is still too complex, and the (current) program forces partners to finance transactions up front and then get paid 30 to 60 days afterwards. This has to be addressed,” Waid said.

Frederickson says NBO will incent partners to move into a front end, claimless compensation plan.

Not all programs will have this front end rebate component. Frederickson says HP Canada wants to be selective with it.

“We realize that margins are important and we cannot police it (if partners take the front end rebate to the street). The market dynamics will do what they do. We will only do NBO with select partners, those who have a vested interested in us,” he said.Frederickson also informed HP’s top partners they need to step up certifications and capabilities to fill in gaps.

Mutual profitability is the third pillar in Frederickson’s overall plan. Using the PartnerOne umbrella program and the Attach Plus program many partners have received good payments, he says. But many more have not realized the benefits. Frederickson wants to fine tune this and create the right mix for many more partners.

“These are not radical changes, just fine tuning such as claimless rebates so that we can get money earlier to partners. I do not want people to process back end rebate claims. We are automating it and it will be cheaper for all of us,” he said.

HP’s worldwide channel chief Adrian Jones, delivered a message to partners centred on simplicity, predictability, consistency, and aligning HP to partner needs.

Jones is on a mission to consolidate HP’s channel programs in an attempt to be simpler and easier. They have already whittled down 140 programs to 40. He has promised to work on a new infrastructure that will improve the speed and accuracy of partner data acquisition and payments, and is also building safeguards to balance payouts fairly.

Loyal HP partners will be getting more. Under Jones’ plan, those partners that increase revenue growth, invest in training and certifications and attain new business will be rewarded each time.

The storage portfolio will be bolstered with new offerings, Jones said.

“I hope you realize that the channel is part of our DNA,” Jones said.

For 2008 Jones wants partners to target storage growth, MFP colour market, mid-market and SMB, increase its investment in thin client computing and retail POS.

“We need help in SMB and mid-market,” Jones said.


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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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