HP has stripped Arrow Enterprise Computing of its deal to distribute support contracts and handed Azlan the franchise in a bid more than triple the number of partners that resell its branded services.
However, before some Gold partners help boost the vendor's services channel, they want HP to price its 120 break-fix and warranty services more competitively against third party maintenance providers and re-think its latest decision to remove resellers' ability to white label the service.
Around 150 resellers were accredited under AMSP, which is to be replaced by the Specialist Contract Services Scheme but HP is aiming to get 500 on board to take on third party providers in the mid-market and low-end corporate space.
"Our desire is to take this contract offering to a much wider base of resellers than we have done historically," said HP services channel manager Nick Shuttleworth.
He said the reason for sticking with Ingram Micro, Avnet, SDG and appointing Azlan to replace Arrow was the "active approach to reseller development" and the pledge to more effectively farm the installed based where contracts had expired.
"This whole initiative is designed to help us win more support business away from third party maintainers and back to HP and its channel," Shuttleworth added.
This is the first time Azlan or its parent C2000 have taken on the HP contracted services exhibit, which are similar to HP CarePaq services but more flexible - adding or subtracting seats during the lifetime - and therefore more expensive.
Mark Walker, director of the converged infrastructure at Azlan, said it was bringing on board a team to develop new business and make sure existing contracts were renewed.
"The channel does a patch job on balance across that whole [services] opportunity...it is an incremental revenue stream and part of the evolution of Azlan," he told MicroScope.
Some resellers remain unconvinced by HP's strategy and questioned why they would want to get behind the push.
"HP is very prescriptive in the way it prices maintenance contracts," said one who asked to remain anonymous. He added that HP did not maintain multi-vendor environments and was not able to match the spare parts offered by specialist rivals in the channel
Another added, "I'd love to see HP getting more heavily into that sector but only if we can brand the servicesHowever, Shuttleworth defended its decision."
However, Shuttleworth defended its decision to use the HP brand on its break services, saying that customers could be certain they were getting HP branded spares, HP engineers and technical support services.
"These are the sort of things that set us apart from a third party maintainer...it gives the customers piece of mind," he said.
One third party maintainer on HP kit argued that dealing with the major vendor s on support was a "nightmare" for customers because they were not set up to deal with the mid-market.
Arrow ECS was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.