HP Prepares Managed Print Services Partner Program Enhancements

HP Prepares Managed Print Services Partner Program Enhancements

When Hewlett-Packard's new fiscal year begins on November 1, the computing giant will unveil partner program enhancements that reward MSPs and VARs for promoting managed print services. HP's managed print channel effort surfaces amid a report suggesting that Xerox commands about 50 percent of the managed print market. Here's the update.

HP is focusing its PartnerOne program enhancements on four areas:

  1. Simplified deal registration.
  2. Aligning membership structures, so that partners selling offerings like HP ProCurve, 3Com networking and HP software can have a single, consistent program.
  3. New elite technology designations -- which is where the managed print services effort surfaces.
  4. And new incremental investments in training and marketing for partners.
The VAR Guy will offer more insights on all four items real soon. In the meantime, let's look at HP's managed print strategy. Come November 1, HP will introduce an Office Printing Solution Elite program, designed for partners that are managed print services masters. Partners that earn the Elite status will qualify for discounts that aren't readily available for lesser-qualified partners, HP has indicated.

Team Building

There's a bigger story here. As we've already reported, HP Channel Chief Stephen DiFranco previously developed Lenovo's managed services channel strategy. Also of note: Matt Smith, director of marketing within HP's channel organization, is an Intel veteran who previously managed Intel's relationship with Lenovo. Smith joined HP about two months ago for multiple reasons -- including a strong respect for DiFranco.

See where I'm going: DiFranco is injecting more and more managed services expertise into the HP channel organization. During a phone briefing earlier this week, Smith shared key insights about the managed services market with MSPmentor.

This week, DiFranco is attending the Ingram Micro VentureTech Network conference in San Francisco, where nearly 700 VARs and channel leaders have gathered. No doubt, he's briefing partners about the HP PartnerOne partner program enhancements that will debut Nov. 1.

Targeted Moves

The managed print services market is a key opportunity for HP. Already, HP has four strategic managed print relationships in place, according to an April 2010 briefing at the HP Americas Partner Conference. But more managed print relationships are coming. And for good reason: A recent report from IDC claims that Xerox commands nearly 50 percent of the managed print services market. Not by coincidence, plenty of MSPs are familiar with Xerox's PagePack managed print partner program.

But competition is intensifying. Starting Nov. 1, it looks like HP is going to get quite serious about its managed print service partner efforts.

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