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Coronavirus: HPE adds to list of vendors offering financial aid

HPE has outlined a number of initiatives designed to help partners get through the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis

When the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is over, the large vendors should be able to look at themselves and feel that they did everything they could to support partners.

Some brands face the prospect of being forever tarnished by some of the decisions that have been made in the face of Covid-19, with Richard Branson at Virgin and Tim Martin at Wetherspoons facing widespread public criticism.

But the large tech vendors have stood by partners and made changes to programmes, rebate levels and eased the process of gaining market development funds (MDF).

This week alone, Dell has nudged partners again to remind them that it has $9bn in finance funds available to keep the IT projects going, and Extreme Networks has introduced its Lending Enablement and Assistance Programme (LEAP) to provide more financial support.

HPE has also been active and followed up on moves it made at the start of April to arm partners with more virtual desktop technology and flexible financing.

“Our partners are at the core of HPE, so when they are facing potential challenges, it’s our duty to step up and be a pillar of support,” said Paul Hunter, HPE worldwide head of partner sales at HPE.

“Whether it’s helping them drive business as usual, relieve financial pressure, or simply giving them peace of mind during this time, our aim is to have a thriving ecosystem better able to meet customer needs,” he added.

HPE is using a raft of measures to try to keep resellers going, including suspending the Partner Ready revenue thresholds so status can be maintained in the Hybrid IT and Aruba Partner Ready for Networking programmes. The rest of this year will focus on helping partners with training and certification.

In terms of improving cashflow, the vendor is improving factoring terms across Europe from 60 to 90 days. In most geographies, the firm has suspended its Strategic Development Initiative, providing a pay-out for distributors from $1 at or near the full percentage rebate target.

There are also a number of tech offers that will help arm partners with options to put in front of customers. Those include making the remote server management software Integrated Lights-Out (iLo) Advanced to partners and customers free of charge for the rest of the year.

Partners are also being encouraged to take advantage of the GreenLake Quick Quote feature and targeted mid-market offers that HPE has introduced.

HPE also indicated that, from May, it is launching the Sales Pro Learning Centerto arm partners with some of the skills they will need to sell consumption propositions and solutions.

In a separate blog post, HPE’s president and CEO Antonio Neri responded to some moves in the US to ease the lockdown by informing staff that it would be flexible about returning to offices.

“As we focus on our own Covid-19 recovery, we have set up a special team, working in tandem with our crisis management team, focused on the rebound. One of this team’s first initiatives has been to map out our approach to ‘return to work’ when it is safe to do so,” he stated.

“Our work from home guidance will not be lifted just because government orders are removed – we will only re-open sites when we feel we are in the best position to welcome back team members safely.  We will modify our sites to ensure physical distancing can be maintained, and we won’t all return at once. 

“Most importantly, returning to the office will be voluntary. Our team members’ health and wellbeing remains our number one priority, so we want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable, safe and supported,” he wrote.

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