HP is launching a new training and certifications platform for partners, HP University, as well as enhancing desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offerings and boosting device security.
Revealed during day one of HP Reinvent in Chicago, HP University will become the vendor's single source for sales skills training, product education and certification for its 18,000 partners across the world.
Specifically, HP University will be optimised to enable partners as the industry transforms from transactional to contractual and subscription relationships, with courses including tools and techniques to enable the channel to engage customers, sell products and drive recurring revenue.
Digital, interactive online training will be available in 170 countries - including Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) - spanning 11 languages with face-to-face training also tailored in to reflect local languages.
Designed to help the channel transition to a new level of value selling, more than 30 worldwide partners across three markets beta tested the program prior to deployment.
Furthermore, access has been simplified to allow partners to focus on learning rather than navigating a complex portal.
"HP offers partner-focused, consultative training with a thoughtful approach to drive the bottom line,” HP vice president of worldwide channel sales strategy Thomas Jensen said.
"Our global partner-focused HP University allows our vast ecosystem to focus on driving channel growth with relentless execution, a simple and clear education programme and streamlined, effective operations to maximise growth and profitability."
Jensen said businesses can tailor computing environments, while shaping customer and workforce experiences through adopting a subscription-based model.
That shift, however, requires a consultative approach to selling and changes in the way channel partners engage with customers.
Within the new framework, HP "core competencies" are also available, including security, DaaS, mobility and managed print services.
According to Jensen, courses in solution selling will present realistic business problems, and provide strategies to uncover end-user challenges, craft proposals and deliver the right messages to the right customers.
Value of security
During an action-packed opening keynote, the tech giant - which returned strongly to growth during the past year - also emphasised enhanced security features across its wider portfolio, urging partners to use such features as opening talking points with customers, who remain increasingly concerned about the rising wave of cyber threats.
From a printing perspective, the vendor unveiled HP Connection Inspector, a new intelligent embedded security feature created by HP Labs, designed to help devices stay ahead of malware attacks through advanced self-healing capabilities.
The technology can inspect outbound network connections typically abused by malware, determine what is normal and then stop suspicious activity.
If compromised, it will automatically trigger a reboot to initiate HP Sure Start self-healing procedures, all without the need for IT intervention.
"HP is empowering our partners to deliver amazing experiences for customers by reinventing printing for an on-demand world," HP president of imaging and printing Enrique Lores added.
"As the cyber landscape evolves and the path of work transforms, we will drive partner success with innovative new services and solutions for printing easily and securely, enabling increased services and revenue opportunities."
The launch follows the establishment of a security advisory panel, consisting of three global security experts - including former hackers - to advise on the ever-changing threat landscape.
As reported by Reseller News, a former New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) engineer is one of three security experts powering the new advisory board.
Justine Bone, who began her career doing reverse engineering and vulnerability research at the Kiwi security agency, will join board leader and former hacker Michael Calce, also known as “Mafiaboy”, and security consultant Robert Masse on the new body.
Alongside partner enablement and security announcements, HP also bolstered DaaS offerings, with more effective fleet management derived from analytics, coupled with three simplified plans to help customers achieve greater efficiency and better user experiences.
"HP DaaS is the only solution for customers and partners that manage multi-OS and multi-device environments, offers the deepest insights with our proprietary analytics platform and proactive fleet management capabilities, and provides the right lifecycle services tailored to individual needs," HP vice president and general manager of personal systems services Bill Avey added.
According to Avey, mixed-device environments are the norm in today’s world, with managing multiple device types, operating system (OS) platforms and vendors becoming increasingly difficult for organisations.
As outlined by IDC research, more than 60 per cent of IT teams report that resources are drained by device management, with DaaS solutions now being implemented or considered by 40 per cent of businesses.
"Insight empowers clients with strategic guidance and intelligent technology solutions to help them manage their technology today so they can transform for tomorrow and get a competitive edge," Insight senior vice president of product marketing Bob Kane added.
"HP DaaS helps us provide clients with the value of the simplified support, predictive analytics, and proactive device and security management features they require.
"Teaming with HP to deliver complete solutions with a simplified purchasing model for customers gives our mutual clients ways to run smarter."
Furthermore, HP CEO Dion Weisler said among other advantages, the DaaS package would enable the creation of managed services for devices "from birth to burial".
HP vice president and head of mobility software product management Lorri Jefferson expanded on the managed service opportunity, advising that partners could mix HP's DaaS technology with their own to develop unique propositions for customers or for industry verticals.
The tech giant's DaaS also manages non-HP devices, Jefferson said, though in some areas such as monitoring hard drives, the data produced is richer on the company's own devices.
Rob O'Neill travelled to HP Reinvent World Partner Forum 2017 as a guest of HP.