The networking division of HP, ProCurve, has extended its channel program in an attempt to forge closer relationships with the resellers that are driving the majority of its sales.
South Pacific country manager, Gurkirat Singh, said it currently had four elite partners - Volante, Leading Solutions, Commander and ComputerCorp - that could buy direct as well as a further seven that had also been granted direct access to bring ProCurve in line with other divisions of HP.
"But even our elite partners put 50 per cent of their ProCurve business through our distribution partner, Ingram Micro," he said. "That is where the majority of stock is held, it is easier from a credit perspective and that suits us fine quite frankly."
Below that, it had a base of 600 resellers that sourced product through Ingram. Of these, he estimated 50 were accounting for about 80 per cent of local ProCurve sales.
The extension of its channel program would look to bring the majority of these into a more formal partner relationship that encouraged greater commitment to the ProCurve brand.
Partners would be split into three tracks: elite partners with the potential and desire to deliver the full gamut of networking services; speciality dealers with skills in a particular field such as mobility or government sales; and professional resellers that concentrate on fulfilment and have little or no interest in chasing the services dollar.
"We have avoided creating a tiered structure of gold, silver and bronze because we want to treat our partners equally," Singh said. "We are able to do that because we know they will be targeting different market segments, which will mean channel conflict is not an issue."
ProCurve is aiming to sign 20 partners to its new program in January and another 20 by the end of March.
Singh said he would like to add one more elite partner and six professionals with the balance made up of specialists.
"We will look at our specialist partners and see which has the most expertise in networking before deciding who should move into the final elite spot," he said. "It must be an organisation that wants to lead with our technology and share our profits."
ProCurve had already identified 12 resellers in NSW, seven in Queensland and five in Victoria that he was confident would take the plunge and sign up to the program.
This would give those resellers access to a range of ProCurve resources including sales advice when looking to close a deal, pre-sales expertise for high-level implementations, funded business development managers working within Ingram Micro, marketing programs, lead generation and training.
To mark the launch of the program, ProCurve took a small band of its leading partners out to Bathurst in western NSW for a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a dogfight in former military Strikemaster jets.
Brian Corrigan travelled to Bathurst as a guest of HP.