The time is now for HP VARs

HP Canada has a deal for you!

Starting May 1st, resellers will be able to offer an HP ProLiant ML110 G3 server with Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 Standard Edition and five client access licenses for $699. That is more that $480 off the official list price from your distributor. The software alone retails for approximately $800.

Why is HP Canada doing this? Well it, along with vendor partners Microsoft and Intel want to penetrate the small business market across Canada more than they are now.This offer is part of a three-vendor channel program called the Microsoft Windows Server Reseller Option Kit (ROK).

Geoff Kereluik, vice-president of SMB at HP Canada of Mississauga, Ont., explained that the subsidiary’s previous SKUs offered limited configurations. The ROK program offers two ProLiant-based SKU. One features SBS, while the other is with Windows Server.

“We recognized that we needed to extend the program to a broader base of partners,” Kereluik said.

The ROK program will go through Synnex, Hartco, Tech Data and Ingram Micro. Ingram is on board even thought it has not officially inked the contract addendum, Kereluik said.

The program has the potential of reaching more than 2,200 resellers across the country, which include HP-authorized PartnerOne VARs, Registered Partners and even those who do not have the capacity to become fully certified.

Naomi Carmichael, vice-president of operations for Courtenay, B.C.-based HP reseller OnDeck Systems Inc., said this new program will help HP and Microsoft penetrate companies who have never looked at a server environment.

“They will now have an option because the price point has dropped. That is what HP is looking at. It is a starting point for sub-five person customers. It makes sense,” she said.

Carmichael added that this type of program will help HP compete with Dell on the entry level.

For resellers, even those that sell entry-level servers, this program is a great starting point. “It will help them get their foot in the door,” she said.

She cautioned, however, that customers require more than entry-level servers, especially if they are migrating from a paper-based office to a paperless or all digital environment.

“If an office goes paperless they will have to rely 100 per cent on that server and I would need to know if it will do its job,” Carmichael said.

Dave Willis, vice-president of SMB solutions and partners for Microsoft Canada his company wants to make it easier for partners to attach the software to hardware. He added that in the past, HP focused on a smaller base of partners, but the ROK program enables the three vendors to reach out to the small business segment with the local reseller.

“We tried to make it easier in an integrated way for them to buy and to sell,” Willis said.

HP, Microsoft and Intel have also created a lead generation marketing campaign called Time is Now to promote ROK.

The first 100 partners to enter ROK will have a direct mail campaign funded (printing and postage for 200 brochures) by the three vendors.

Also under the campaign will be a four city (Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto) SMB Nation Workshop that will feature guest speaker Harry Brelsford, founder and CEO of SMB Nation Inc. of Bainbridge Island, Wash.

The ROK program ends July 31st. HP will return to list prices after that unless the promotion is renewed.

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

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