HP Inc. will launch its new Amplify partner program on 1 November, giving partners the rest of summer and early fall to digest the changes. The PC and printer giant is rolling out the program in an effort to update its channel approach for an increasingly digital- and services-focused market.
Changes are coming in areas including the compensation structure, partner tiers and incentives for services, while HP is also making an increased push for data sharing with partners, the company announced Wednesday.
“This is going to be a much more holistic, consistent program, when compared to HP Partner First,” said Christoph Schell, chief commercial officer at HP, in an interview with CRN USA. Along with major updates around compensation and services enablement, ”I do believe that it will be simpler for partners to understand how we will engage with them,” Schell said.
What follows are five key things to know about the HP Amplify partner program.
In terms of simplifying the HP partner program, HP announced it will replace all existing tiers and programs with a new two-tier system as part of Amplify starting 1 November. The base tier, Synergy, is meant for the majority of partners and will include standard benefits along with partner portal access and training. For partners that are interested in a higher level of collaboration, the upper tier in Amplify will be the Power track, HP said.
The Power tier will require a greater amount of investment from partners, and will also come with more investment from HP including with enhanced incentives, support and data-driven insights. Importantly, the Power tier will be ideal for services-focused partners--and there will be one sub-tier of it, known as the Power Services track. Power Services will provide access to HP‘s managed services portfolio and enable partners to participate in managed services delivery, leading to a larger recurring revenue opportunity, HP said. Power Services partners will receive specialised support and resources from HP, the company said.
Not all existing partners may qualify for either track in HP Amplify, according to the company. And the ability to offer services will be important even for partners in the base Synergy tier, Schell said. “If you‘re a transactional partner, and you’re not able to deliver a service and you’re not able to participate in this customer journey, it’s going to be tough to qualify even for Synergy,” he said.
New rewards system for partners
HP said it will be changing up its compensation structure for partners as part of the new Amplify partner program on 1 November. The changes are aimed at moving HP and its partners into a rewards system that recognises more metrics than just sales goals and volume, the company said.
Sales volume and goals will still be part of the compensation structure under Amplify, but so will a number of other performance indicators, according to HP. Those include pre-sales indicators, such as deal registration volume, sales conversion rates and pre-sales support utilisation; indicators at the point of transaction including average sales volume and average revenue per account; and post-sales metrics such as time-to-delivery, account retention, account expansion and customer satisfaction.
Schell said that many partners, especially services-focused partners, should be able to increase their profits under Amplify. “They will probably make more money than they do today, relative to a services-led engagement [currently],” he said. Partners will also continue to have access to key rewards from Partner First including special pricing and incentives, MDF and new business opportunity (NBO) incentives, HP said.
Overall, HP plans to spend more money on working with partners as part of Amplify, with much of the increased investment around analytics and training for partners, he said. “There are a lot of dollars that are moving into data analytics and into training and certification,” Schell said.
Incentives for services, other capabilities
HP Amplify will bring a deeper focus on enabling increased delivery of services--such as managed print services, and Device-as-a-Service in the PC business--along with other capabilities that are seen as crucial going forward, HP said. The company has been increasingly emphasising as-a-service models in recent years, and has been seeing heightened demand for Device-as-a-Service and printer ink subscriptions amid the shift to remote work, HP CEO Enrique Lores said in a recent interview with CRN USA.
The HP Amplify program will “measure rewards based on new performance indicators” that include service delivery capabilities, HP said. The program will also provide partner incentives for improvement of digital skills; capabilities around e-commerce and omnichannel; and collaboration with HP on data.
“HP Amplify rewards partners who invest in the capabilities to compete -- and win -- in a world dominated by e-commerce and digital-led customer journeys and experiences,” HP said. ”The more capabilities around secure data collection, routes to market, services and specialisations, the more access and benefits partners will receive.”
Another area that is getting a bigger spotlight in the HP Amplify program is around the sharing of data between HP and partners. The company plans to ask partners to opt-in to share data such as customer purchasing behavior, online sales mix and inventory levels. The data, which will be subject to privacy and security measures, will be used to help jointly drive improved customer outcomes--and HP understands that partners will only choose to opt-in if HP is “able to show value,” Schell said.
That is, there will be a ”quid pro quo” inherent to HP‘s proposed collaboration around data, he said. Partners will undoubtedly feel that ”if you want data from me, you better show up with data that is relevant for me,” Schell said. ”I completely understand that. But I do believe that the magic is in looking at this holistically, looking at this together, starting the engagements very early on, and then going through this together. And there’s a bit of a learning curve there.”
Emphasis on digital
HP signalled that it is raising its expectations for the online capabilities partners that will bring through their participation in the Amplify program. While commercial partners will not necessarily be expected to offer online transaction capabilities to their customers, partners will need to have a strong online presence--for example, with video content demonstrating the solutions that can be delivered to customers, Schell said. For most commercial partners, “you don‘t necessarily need e-commerce capabilities--you don’t need to be able to transact--but you need to be able to represent the outcome that we jointly deliver,” he said.
As sales have shifted to digital platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic, “I think a lot of our partners had to learn the hard way in the last couple of months, about how a gap in your online [presence] or in your marketplace participation can have a really devastating impact,” Schell said.