HP has made some changes to its storage sales in the US that might attract some envious glances from here
Blogs | 29 Mar 2012 :
If I was an Irish HP storage reseller, I think I'd be looking at my US counterparts with envy right now. HP has just announced two sales initiatives
, under the 100 Percent banner, that hand over all sales of its storage products to US partners.
The first one, the 100 Percent New Accounts initiative, pushes all sales of HP storage products to new accounts through channel partners. The second, the 100 Percent LeftHand and StoreOnce initiative, pushes all orders for LeftHand storage and StoreOnce Backup for new accounts and repeat customers to, you've guessed it, HP storage partners.
The initiative for new registered sales opportunities covers HP Converged Storage products, HP 3PAR Storage, HP StoreOnce BackUP, HP LeftHand, HP IBRIX Storage, HP X5000 Storage and the rest of the vendor's storage portfolio.
It includes any account HP has not sold storage to in the last three years and every registered storage new business opportunity is guaranteed to stay in the channel, except in global account opportunities where storage cannot be unbundled from the overall HP solution or instances where the vendor is contractually obligated to fulfil direct.
For both initiatives, irrespective of whether a sales lead is identified by HP or a partner, the vendor "will always funnel these new business and up-sell opportunities through US channel partners".
These initiatives follow the earlier announcement of HP's ServiceONE partner support for Storage programme which gave qualified partners the option of selling their own storage services with HP support, selling and delivering HP services to customers or selling partner-branded services with HP support.
Commenting on the 100 Percent announcements, Chris Riley, vice president, Americas, Storage, HP, said the programmes would deliver "more storage sales opportunities and profitable growth potential to resellers than any other vendor".
Burnishing HP's partner credentials, he claimed it would help them increase revenue with HP 3PAR, HP StoreOnce and HP LeftHand products "by bringing them more opportunities than ever before".
In the US, Matt Troka, senior vice president of product and partner management at channel partner CDW, had no difficulty agreeing with Riley. In a statement, he said HP's plan to push all new storage business to partners "demonstrated its commitment to CDW's success and, at the same time, is building additional trust and goodwill with the channel".
Quite why HP should effectively push all its storage business through the channel at this juncture, in the US in any case, is open to interpretation. It comes at a time when there is far more seismic upheaval taking place in the PC and print business but it can't be because the storage business is in bad shape. Yes, sales and revenues were down in the fiscal first quarter ending 31 January 2012 but that was primarily down to hard disk drive shortages from the floods in Thailand. In fact, according to CFO Catherine Lesjak, HP reported double digit growth in StoreOnce and close to 100% growth in 3PAR for the quarter.
It suggests that HP is happily handing over a growing business to channel partners which, any way you look at it, is a very good thing indeed. As for Irish partners, they can only hope the vendor will demonstrate its commitment to their success and build additional trust and goodwill with them in the near(ish) future. The pressure is on because if HP doesn't, quite a few channel partners might be justified in feeling a tad offended.