HP has added a third partner tier as part of a refocus on channel accreditation.
The new Premier Business partner category sits above HP's Business Partner and Registered Reseller ranks and stretches across all of the vendor's products and solutions. Business Partner Organisation director, Paul Robson, said the top tier was created to reward commitment, capabilities and partner performance in a more effective way.
Premier Business partners can qualify by meeting accreditation conditions and having set numbers of staff committed to training and qualification. Other criteria includes meeting service levels, revenue targets and certification on product lines.
Premier Business partners engaging with HP's Enterprise Servers and Storage business unit, for example, will need to obtain at least one specialisation to qualify.
Robson said the vendor planned to introduce specialisations across its Imaging and Printing and Personal Systems Group divisions down the track.
An organisation can become an HP Premier Business partner regardless of whether it purchases directly from the vendor or through distribution, Robson said.
There are no changes to the vendor's Registered Reseller ranks.
The partner changes were introduced on May 1 and brought the local programs into alignment with HP's global strategy, Robson said.
All qualified partners get access to new Premier branding as well as account management and channel rewards.
"The program provides an increased level of engagement from HP, such as dedicated HP business managers for business planning, sales leads, rebates, our rewards program and access to training and marketing collateral," Robson said. "Globally and regionally HP has three tiers of partners. This change provides increased focus on the grouping of partners dedicated and loyal to HP in Australia and accreditation that is clear to qualify."
HP had also realigned its internal team for increased touch with partners, Robson said.
Premier Business partners will be reviewed every six months for their adherence to qualifications, with status updated once a year.
Robson said it had 60-70 Premier Business partners on its books.