HP’s Grad Rosenbaum speaks to traction surrounding HP Inc.’s Premier Partner Program, new A3 platforms, and more.
Top: Dealers are finding that success selling HP A4 products has helped them successfully sell HP A3 devices.
Grad Rosenbaum is feeling pretty good these days about how the independent dealer channel is embracing HP as an A3 supplier. The vice president and general manager for HP Americas solutions and services business is pleased by the number of Premier Partners the company has signed so far. More so, he’s thrilled by the channel’s interest in the company’s A3 and A4 products, as well as its security initiatives.
Rosenbaum won’t go into detail as to the number of Premier Partners the company has onboarded, but he emphasized HP is careful about which ones they’re picking.
“We’re limiting the number of people we authorize as Premier partners intentionally to make sure we’re picking the right set of partners,” he said.
At the close of HP’s third fiscal quarter the end of July, HP reported not only significant growth in the Premier Partner Program, but in its new A3 platforms, as well as what Rosenbaum deemed “explosive” growth in its A4 managed SKUs. He attributes much of growth to HP’s Premier Partners in the BTA channel.
“The vast majority are giving us more than a fair shake in terms of local opportunities, and we also have good examples in the channel where they have shifted the lineup of OEMs based on HP’s entry into the market and are going heavier and heavier with HP,” said Rosenbaum. “Now, we’re showing up every week in their headquarters and their branches and talking about why HP and how to build a business.”
A side effect of HP’s A3 initiative has been its impact on sales of A4 and genuine HP supplies, which Rosenbaum reports are growing and attracting interest from the channel. HP’s A4 growth within the channel is in the triple digits. Again, he declined to offer specific numbers, as is HP’s way.
As one dealer told HP, according to Rosenbaum, success with HP A4 enables more A3 success for us and vice versa.
Many of these partners had been supplying their installed based with remanufactured cartridges, but now that they are aligned with HP, Rosenbaum said there’s been a significant conversion back to genuine HP supplies. In many cases, those dealers were not part of an HP program before.
HP is also taking suggestions from its Dealer Advisory Council about what it needs to successfully sell A4. One suggestion HP is following through on is creating a differentiated platform just for the channel. This has resulted in the channel receiving aggressive pricing and availability of what dealers consider the top 11 SKUs.
SMBs and mid-market businesses without internal resources to manage their PCs represent a huge opportunity for the independent dealer channel. The detailed graphic above illustrates HP’s Lifestyle Services or Device as a Service (DaaS) concept.
While HP was anticipating a certain amount of success on the A3 side, the explosive growth in supplies and A4 has been a pleasant surprise, bolstered by the company’s security initiatives.
As we continue to see, security is a key initiative. It’s a message Rosenbaum sees resonating with many of the more advanced resellers that are already attuned to the importance of securing the devices they sell. Plus, security has become important to HP’s customers as well.
HP is training and helping certify its BTA channel partners’ sales and technical personnel on HP’s security programs and initiatives. HP is also conducting events with channel partners, visiting end users with their channel partners, and making HP’s security experts available to partners and their customers.
The company is also working to raise awareness of its PageWide A3 and A4 inkjet platforms, which HP views as complimentary to its legacy laser platforms. HP will also be launching an external finisher for its PageWide A3 device, creating more opportunities for the channel and HP.
Rosenbaum also touted HP’s Smart Device Services (SDS) platform, which is designed to improve the up time of its devices and lower the costs of servicing those devices by leveraging big data and remote monitoring.
“We have an early set of resellers who are seeing 18% to 20% savings in service costs by using this platform,” reported Rosenbaum. “Service is the lifeblood of all these resellers, and what we’re working with them on is how to do it in the most efficient, most productive way.”
Another initiative of note is device-as-a-service (DaaS), which is more of a PC-as-a-service offering that HP is taking to the BTA channel. Rosenbaum considers this another opportunity for independent dealers to grow their businesses. He acknowledged DaaS is new ground for some dealers and not all may want to get in on it, but some that have done so already have closed more than a half-dozen DaaS deals to date.
For example, for those that are getting $25 per user per month for an MPS offering, if they can get another $25 per user per month to manage a customer’s PC environment, Rosenbaum said it is a great way for HP to expand its existing customer relationships.
He acknowledged a lot of people thought the PC was dead, but based on HP’s third-quarter earnings announcement, the numbers indicate otherwise. HP’s PC business grew 12%.
“That’s incredible for what was supposed to be a mature and declining industry,” noted Rosenbaum. “Based on those earlier indicators, we think the business on the PC side will follow the same direction as print, moving to more and more “˜as-a-service’ every year.”
The biggest opportunities he sees for the channel with DaaS is in mid-market organizations and SMBs where they may not have the internal resources to manage their PCs. HP does have some resellers enjoying success at the top of the pyramid with longstanding customers managing their PC environments.
It’s still too soon to tell if HP’s initiatives are proving the naysayers wrong about the traction the company is experiencing in the channel. No one seems to have forgotten the company’s notable missteps of the past, but it’s looking more and more like HP has learned from its mistakes. Either way, Rosenbaum is optimistic.
“Make no mistake about HP’s intent in the A3 space,” emphasized Rosenbaum. “You can see the intense focus we have, and you’re aware of the onboarding of many new Premier partners and growth of the business we’re working with them to drive acceleration in A3 and in our A4 and other related solutions and products.”
HP’s popular “The Wolf” videos starring actor Christian Slater are raising awareness about protecting printers and MFPs from outside threats.
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