During Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Global Partner Summit this week, the company announced a new partner addition that builds on the company’s existing Partner Ready program. Dubbed Partner Ready Vantage, it focuses on partners with as-a-service practices, and recognizes and develops partner expertise. Partners are not limited to only one of the two programs – they can choose to participate in both.
“Essentially, we’re shifting the focus away from partner types, and more towards business models. So with partner types, we would look at partners like, you’re a distributor, you’re a reseller, you’re a service provider, you’re a system integrator, ISV, OEM, colo,” said George Hope, worldwide head of partner sales. “We’re now looking at it more around the different business models. So what you’ll see when we start to talk about the program will be referring to what you do versus what you are from a partner perspective. So we’re seeing all of the partners adopt multiple personas.”
In fact, he observed, a consulting firm has said that partners have, on average, 4.7 different personas.
“We’re looking at having programs available for the multiple personas, regardless of what you do,” he explained. “And we’re seeing a convergence around three things: we’re finding that all of our partners are looking to lead with their own IP, which gives them the ability to differentiate themselves versus selling a commodity solution. They’re also looking at having managed offerings, which gives them the ability to have more control and more involvement in the day-to-day activity of the customers, as well as shifting their business to more of a recurring revenue focus.”
The new program is organized into three tracks: Build, Sell, and Service, and unites the HPE and Aruba portfolios to provide an edge-to-cloud channel program. Under these tracks are focused Centers of Expertise (COEs), based on Aruba’s Network-as-a-Service offerings, that offer tailored enablement, training, go-to-market initiatives, and sales tools. Partners can choose to deliver their services under their own brand or under the HPE GreenLake or Aruba brand, according to Beth Jensen, director of worldwide channel partner programs at Aruba.
“We created the services COEs to help partners excel in an as-a-service world,” said Donna Grothjan, vice president of worldwide channels for Aruba. “We’ve taken a personal approach as we’ve developed all of the components of this new program. We were deliberate in including mentorship alongside a wealth of vital training and workshops for our partners. We’ve relied on global best practices as we’ve built out the program elements – all in an effort to help our partners extend and expand their practices, have faster time to activation, reduce churn, and achieve higher than average renewal rates for customers.”
The Partner Ready Vantage Build Track is designed for partners to integrate with HPE technology, leverage tested and proven pre-packaged solutions from HPE and HPE technology partners, as well as develop their own applications using HPE’s open platforms to deliver the solutions that meet their customers’ needs.
The Sell Track is designed to help partners grow their as-a-service business by offering value-added solutions from across the HPE portfolio.
The Service Track is designed for partners focused on delivering services across the customer lifecycle, including consulting, assessment, design, integration, deployment, migration, support, and management.
Currently, these Aruba Service COEs are available: Customer Success, Managed Services, and Professional Services. The COEs for the Build and Sell Tracks, along with the Hybrid Cloud Service COEs, will become available to all partners over the next year as the program continues its rollout.
HPE also announced updates to the HPE Pro Series, enhancements to Partner Connect, and a refresh of the HPE Partner Portal, all designed to streamline and improve the experience of HPE Partners and their customers.
HPE Pro Series Enhancements
HPE Tech Pro has been updated to expand its enablement offerings to support new technical job roles, in alignment with HPE Partner Ready Vantage. New offerings are aimed at partners who are pursuing as-a-service business models who require cloud and managed services skills along with customer success capabilities to achieve their goals.
HPE Sales Pro has been refreshed based on partner feedback to allow partners to quickly access the most relevant and up-to-date enablement to lead custom conversations confidently and grow sales. New features include a personalized portal with certification status and training modules, Portfolio Learning Curriculums with curated and interactive paths, and Top Recommended Training (TRT) to make it easier for partners to find and prioritize relevant and impactful training modules. Also added are new On-The-Go Learning features where training modules can be consumed as podcasts, videos, or web-based seminars, Outcome Discussion Guides with quick access to engaging questions to be used in sales conversations, and an Industry Business Value Framework that allows partners to better prepare for industry-focused conversations.
HPE Marketing Pro has been redesigned to provide easier access to HPE marketing tools and content through a new HPE Marketing Pro gateway that provides simplified access to all HPE marketing tools, and a redesigned HPE Social Media Center that features an improved user interface with consolidated navigation, content filtering, updated guides and added functionality. Partners will also find new educational content in the HPE Partner Learning Center, including modules on Marketing Analytics, Social Trends, Search/SEO updates and Social Media/Social Selling.
Partner Connect, a digital platform that empowers customer-to-partner, and partner-to-partner connections, provides locator capabilities connecting users to thousands of HPE partners with search functions based on expertise, partner type, location, keyword and soon by solution too.
While basic self-profiling has allowed partners to update their own information and categorization, now partners will see the rollout of enhanced self-profiling allowing partners to showcase their HPE products and services with greater control of how they highlight and promote their solutions.
HPE Partner Ready Portal
HPE Partner Ready Portal has been refreshed with a design that focuses on simplified navigation and site integration. The redesigned homepage features a ‘what’s new’ section for news, events, promotions, and webinars, and the consolidated menu links provide quick access to business tools and relevant content.
Dashboard tiles are optimized for containing business data like Partner Compensation or Deal Registration. All other tools can be added as a quick link, using one-click access to view.
All related information is centralized under Partner Status & Benefits on the navigation menu. A centralized tools catalogue gives partners the ability to request tool access using a one-click “request access” button. The portal now offers a new customizable view that integrates content into a streamlined, modern, single-user interface for all partners, across all regions and countries.