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BETT: HP hits the road to support educational partners

Vendor aims to get its education offerings out in front of customers and support resellers across the country

HP is taking to the road to support its education partners and get its wares in front of 25,000 students over the course of this year.

The vendor started the effort by taking its Digital Skills Bus to the BETT show and inviting some partners on-board to promote their education products.

Resellers across the country will be able to request that the bus makes a stop near them to help drive further interest from schools and educational institutions.

Neil Sawyer, channel and education director at HP, said that it hoped that increasing support for educational resellers would benefit existing partners as well as encouraging some fresh faces to get involved in the market.

"Over the past few years we've had a programme for our channel partners, called HP for Education, because we recognise that there is a growing swell of resellers that are very dedicated and specific in terms of what they do in education," he said.

Under the HP for Education programme resellers that sell the vendor's equipment can offer credits that can be spent on software or more hardware.

"In the past few years we've invested around about £5m back into British schools and colleges, using the HP for Education programme," said Sawyer.

He added that the programme and its efforts with initiatives like the digital skills bus should continue to attract more resellers into the education fold.

"Whilst our big HP Platinum partners are extremely important to us and they've been around working with us for 20, 25 or even 30 plus years in many cases, what we have found through this programme is the emergence of a lot of very regional geographical resellers," he said.

He said HP was working with its distribution partners to pick up on those smaller local partners that had opportunities to work with their nearby schools and colleges. "There are hundreds, if not thousands of resellers, that we want to work with as part of this programme".

"The digital skills and community bus that we've put together is available for all of those reseller partners, so it won't be us going to visit those schools alone. It will be HP training staff working alongside those resellers to add some value back to their customers, and the schools that they're working with," he added.

Sawyer said that the bus would be promoting a number of technologies, ranging from virtual reality to digital publishing tools, and accepted that in a market that was going through an explosion of software and hardware development there were challenges for customers.

"I think the biggest challenge with a market explosion is how does the educationalist decide on what is right and how does it fit, effectively with the syllabus that they're delivering and their teaching. We can't solve those decisions, because that is that is very specific to the opinion and the viewpoint of the educationalists. However we feel that we can do a very good job to say what a well-known leading brand within the education space is and identify the best ways for people to be able to make a decision on what they're going to invest in," he concluded.

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