After 10 months of operating in the U.S., Hewlett-Packard is bringing its PartnerReach alliance with Microsoft to Canadian VARs.
“We’ve seen tremendous uptake in the U.S.,” said Geoff Kereluik, HP Canada’s new vice-president of small and medium business said Tuesday. “The
[Canadian] channel is ready for it.”
Under the partnership, the companies will bundle hardware and software packages — such as servers and operating systems — that VARs can sell for less than a solution they can put together separately.
However, there are no products to announce yet to hungry resellers.
“This is a journey we’re just entering on together,” Kereluik said.
While PartnerReach started last January, he said it was only with his appointment a month ago could a decision be made to bring the alliance to Canada.
He made the announcement as part of a package of news HP revealed at this year’s TechxNY trade show targeted at increasing its share of business from small and medium-sized companies.
VARs will be able to add HP-branded break/fix services to the SmartServices packages they’re already able to sell. Products they’ll initially be able to offer work on after being certified by HP are all ProLiant servers and all HP commercial printers.
Resellers will also be able to offer customers an HP SmartFinance leasing program with rates Kereluik said could be advantageous even to partners who already have a third-party leasing supplier.
HP revealed more than 20 new printing and imaging systems, what Kereluik said was a replacement of half of its product line, including LaserJets, Colour LaserJets and print servers.
Finally, though not a product, Kereluik said one of the changes he’s bringing in within a few weeks is an increase in marketing partnerships with Canadian resellers.
“You’re going to see us marketing more with specific channel partners,” he said. HP will hunt for VARs to surround a campaign around, in part by finding customer opportunities and deciding which partners can best get that business.
It won’t benefit only national resellers, he promised. In some campaigns HP could decide that a local or regional VAR would have the best opportunity to reach a niche, he said.
TechxNY, which used to be called PC Expo, has become an amalgamation of several shows — one for consumer electronic products, one for outsourcing — which has blunted its impact.
There were also few companies announcing new products. Among them was Xerox, which outlined new WorkCentre Pro and CopyCentre copiers which offer faster speeds than their predecessors. Prices range from US$11,495 for the CopyCentre C2128 to US$16,995 for the WorkCentre Pro X3545.
While show director Christina Condos insisted the 280 vendors was more than last year, a number of the exhibitors felt the show was smaller. Among the big names missing were Sony, Toshiba, Acer, Gateway, Sun Microsystems, Panasonic and Maxtor.
Rather than have a software booth, Microsoft showed off a 42-foot trailer, one of six its sharing with Cisco Systems, HP and Intel and driving around the U.S. to give potential customers hands-on experience with their technology. Cisco didn’t have a separate booth.
“The show’s terrible,” said David Rahvar, general partner of Rose Electronics, a Texas manufacturer of KVM switches and extenders.
Others, while noting the early morning rush had tailed off, saw some hope. “The show seems smaller than last year but the quality of people is higher,” said Nancy Sherman, eastern marketing manager for Eastman Kodak, which was showing off a new workgroup document scanner.
“We’ve been overwhelmed here,” said Jay Elliott, CEO of Powerhouse Technologies Group of San Ramon, Calf, which was showing off newly released software for that will let users download desktop applications to iPods.
Condos acknowledged there were a lot of big names absent from the floor. But she said, “The trade show will never die because people need to get together.