HP Unveils Partner-Branded Storage Services, New Cloud Specialization

February 14, 2012 Off By Hoofer
Grazed from CRN.  Author: Kevin McLaughlin.

Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) on Monday unveiled a new storage service support model and gave partners a sneak peek at a cloud computing partner specialization that’s slated for launch in November.

On the storage side, HP is now giving select partners the option of selling their own branded services backed by HP support. The new model, dubbed ServiceONE Partner Support for HP Storage, will be available for select partners in March with a worldwide rollout slated for later this year…

When HP launched its ServiceONE program last July, it gave partners the option of going into services deals with HP-branded services or co-branded services, but partners couldn’t offer their own branded services.

Ken Archer, vice present of channels and alliances for HP’s Technology Services group in the Americas, said partners that have established themselves in the storage space will be eligible to take advantage of the service support model. "We’re targeting partners that have a significant brand in storage," he said.

HP is also beefing up its roster of pre-packaged HP consulting services, which partners can sell in cases where they don’t have the in-house expertise to meet customers’ needs.

HP is adding 22 new pre-packaged consulting offers — 10 in platform, 5 in networking and 7 in storage — to go with the nine it announced last November. HP plans to have a total of 50 pre-packaged consulting offers by the end of the year, Archer said.

"We are allowing partners to increase their services revenue and offer consulting expertise to customers," Archer said. "Partners never want to have to say no to customers when they don’t have the in-house capability."

Meanwhile, HP is gearing up to launch a new PartnerONE cloud specialization this November called HP Cloud Builder Specialist. Aimed at partners that have developed skills around HP’s CloudSystem private cloud offering, the new Cloud Builder Specialist will feature partner enablement and training programs for cloud infrastructure, software and services.

Mike Galane, senior director of worldwide channel marketing strategy and planning in HP’s Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) division, said partners that have already launched Cloud Centers Of Excellence, which demonstrate HP’s cloud technologies, will be rewarded with market development funds and additional rebates.

HP will also reward Cloud Builder Specialist partners for achieving specific certifications and training, according to Galane.

HP wants Cloud Builder Specialists to team up with partners in CloudAgile, the channel program it launched at Discover last June in which service providers and traditional VARs team up on hybrid cloud projects.

Cloud Builder Specialists can either act as service providers themselves or resell cloud services from a CloudAgile service provider. HP is providing financial incentives to traditional resellers that engage with CloudAgile partners, Galane said.

"There may be some ambivalence on their part because of the delayed revenue stream," he said. "We want to put together a stable of qualified Cloud Agile service providers."

Cloud Builders can also get financial rewards for the hardware that a service provider installs to run cloud services, Galane said.

"No one else has program in place where resellers can get revenue based on hardware that a service provider is putting in place," said Galane. "Resellers will get some compensation for product that the Cloud Agile service provider is putting in place to support the cloud service."

All of this requires a lot of partner-to-partner networking because not all VARs have the in-house expertise to deliver cloud solutions. HP’s answer to this issue is Interchange, a social media network aimed at building collaboration among partners designing cloud offerings. HP is showing off Interchange at its Global Partner Conference this week and intends to continue fine tuning the tool over the course of 2012.

"Cloud covers such a broad area," said Galane. "We have partners that can put together all the pieces today. But for ones that need to collaborate, Interchange can help them more readily connect."