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HP Inc revamps channel program, dumps Salesforce

HP Inc revamps channel program, dumps Salesforce

Refresh aims to increase the percentage of indirect sales from 80 per cent of total today to 87 per cent by the end of its next financial year, November 2017.

HP Inc is transitioning its customer relationship management from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics as part of a revamp of its channel partner program.

The refresh aims to increase the percentage of indirect sales from 80 per cent of total today to 87 per cent by the end of its next financial year, November 2017.

"This was one of Dion’s [CEO Dion Weisler’s] very first messages when we created the new HP back in November 2015," HP head of channel marketing, demand & content services, Vincent Brissot, said.

"We were a channel centric company but we are now becoming a channel-led company.”

HP made the announcement at its Global Partner Conference in Boston to some 1,300 representatives of HP channel partners, where it also announced its planned acquisition of Samsung’s printer business for US$1.05 billion, and a new line of A3 multifunction printers/copiers.

However the company said the move to go to 87 per cent indirect sales did not take account of either of these developments.

"We are moving from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics," HP COO, John Flaxman, added. "It was a big decision for us but the benefits were compelling for us and for our partners.

"Over the next 18 months we will be moving to one integrated CRM for both sales and support, today we have two.”

Flaxman said Dynamics “is really built around mobility".

"It allows us to integrate our productivity applications, to re-invent how we work together," he added. "We are implementing a sales collaboration tool through Microsoft Dynamics putting HP partners and customers on the same page.

"We are also incorporating HP’s balance of trade information into the system. Our sales reps did not have access to that information in the past. Now this data will arm or sales teams with much more relevant information.”

In addition Flaxman said HP has combined channel marketing and operations to accommodate for advancements in a "digitally driven world".

“We have totally rethought the way channel partners can navigate and engage with us in the channel partner portal," he explained. "Instead of leading by products we are radically changing the way partners find information through the portal.”

HP vice president of global head of channel sales strategy, Thomas Jensen, said the initiative had been in train since before the split and many of the changes had been shared with major channel partner to get their feedback.

“We have totally redesigned the system that enables our partners to do joint go-to market activities with us," he added.

Specific initiatives announced by HP were a simplified partnership structure with streamlined membership levels and compensation. There will now be three primary membership tiers – platinum, gold and silver – instead of four.

Also, an upgraded HP co-marketing zone to make it easier to activate marketing campaigns, as well as a new HP Social Media Centre designed to help partners demonstrate their expertise via social networks.

The new HP Co-Marketing Zone Plus (CMZ+), is described as “one-stop portal for creating customised, co-branded marketing materials.”

Flaxman demonstrated how partners could use it to build a bespoke PowerPoint presentation for a sales pitch using a catalogue of modifiable slides.

“Building an HP presentation used to take days or weeks, now it can be done in minutes,” he said.

Jensen said Co-Marketing Zone Plus is being made available worldwide, enabling partners to create joint marketing campaigns, initiating the campaign and tracking the results.

Read more: HP goes after US$55b A3 printer/copier market

Stuart Corner travelled to Boston as a guest of HP.

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