HP and Sun revamp channel programmes

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HP and Sun revamp channel programmes

Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems have announced financial incentives and simpler administration for their respective channel partners.

HP's PartnerOne programme, which will initially be rolled out to its 20,000 partners in the US, replaces about 40 separate programmes the company had in place following its merger with Compaq.

PartnerOne will focus on helping HP partners grow revenue through joint marketing efforts, said Carl Ramsey, a director in HP's channel organisation. For instance, HP is delivering a series of demand-generation and Web-enabled marketing tools for creating direct marketing and e-mail promotions.

The company will also offer more incentives to partners for achievements such as winning a new account or displacing rivals. HP has also put in place a unified channel-facing organisation to replace the multiple units it had for its various technologies.

"Instead of having 40 different Web sites and 40 different places to go, we now have one face for our partners," Ramsey said.

The programme addresses most of the questions raised by channel partners following HP's acquisition of Compaq, said Geoffrey Lilien, chief executive officer of HP reseller Lilien Systems.

The changes have introduced "consistency across the many different programmes", he added.

Sun's latest programme, meanwhile, is aimed at providing its 800 iForce channel partners in the US with many of the same features.

"We knew we needed to improve the value proposition, to simplify how to do business with us and reward those who have been making a significant investment in Sun," said Sun director Mike Walsh.

Among Sun's margin-improvement programmes is an initiative called the Target Account Programme, through which the company will offer special rebates to partners that sell to a specific list of "new-to-Sun" target accounts. It will also offer special cash rebates to partners that sell only Sun server and storage equipment.

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