Times are tough, IDC New Zealand told the 2009 HP Microsoft Directionz Roadshow in Wellington Wednesday 8 April. But the two IT companies hosting the event are promising to help partners weather the storm by boosting margins and incentivising new orders.
IDC country manager Ullrich Loeffler told delegates at the Te Papa event that New Zealand will be one of the “most impacted” in terms of reduced projected national GDP growth. The firm has had to revise once robust growth predictions made in 2008, after the global financial crisis drew a pall of gloom over business confidence late in the year.
In his keynote, ‘Navigating Uncertain Times’, Loeffler admitted no one could say for sure whether the recession has yet bottomed out, but the latest indicators suggest that global IT spending will not recover quickly.
According to Microsoft New Zealand server product manager Tovia Va’aelua, this situation is forcing resellers to work twice as hard just to stand still. “Microsoft and HP want to help customers and partners maintain profitability, but also build a solid platform from which they can launch ahead of competitors once the market does return to solid growth — as it is sure to do.”
Va’aelua says one of the easiest ways for partners to increase cashflow immediately is to redeem services and software deployment rebates. This offer sees $700 paid to qualified partners for each Enterprise edition of Windows Server 2008 deployed, $500 for Premium editions of Small Business Server and almost $1000 for Premium editions of Essential Business Server. Lesser rebates are also available on standard editions.
“Guess how many New Zealand partners redeemed last year?” asks Va’aelua. “Just 1.5 per cent. So we’ve made it easier by streamlining the online process. As of last week, we saw 20 per cent redemption, which is an improvement. But in tough times, this is money for jam.”
To claim, partners need to enter product keys and service invoices at www.serveroffer.com.
Another offer is a first for New Zealand and will see customers receive two years’ assistance from Business Mentors New Zealand paid for by Microsoft. Va’aelua admits the $200 per customer outlay is not huge, but is a detail that could seal the deal with wavering customers.
However, he says Microsoft Finance is the real ‘killer’ offer partners need to inform customers about. “It covers Microsoft software and other people’s software. It pays for Microsoft consultants and reseller services. But it also covers hardware, which is where HP and Microsoft have a special partnership.”
HP is hoping that, despite the economic downturn, customers looking to upgrade will opt for its recently released ProLiant G6 server range. The G6, with its new Nehalem Intel Xeon 5500 processors, delivers twice the memory and storage with “a 100 per cent increase in overall performance” to squeeze more value out of every IT dollar, says the company.
Microsoft Finance starts at deployments worth $3000 and up, explains Va’aelua: “The only catch is it must involve at least $1 worth of Microsoft software to be eligible.”
It’s doubtful Microsoft produces anything worth a dollar, but as far as eligibility criteria go, this is pretty inclusive, Va’aelua says.
Microsoft Finance interest rates are at least 1 per cent less than the normal finance rates and provide customers the option of spreading repayments over 36 months.
“At the very least, this is a conversation resellers should be having with customers. It is a genuine option for them,” says Va’aelua.
The HP Microsoft Directionz Roadshow will continue after Easter with dates scheduled for seven North Island centres between 15 and 29 April. Details at: www.microsoft.com/nz/events/directionz/default.mspx