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HP offers cut down EDS services to mid-market partners

Microscope contributor

HP is drawing down the first line of services from its acquisition of EDS with the launch of Critical Advantage Services (CAS), to take channel partners beyond pure break fix and into areas including managed applications.

The US tech monster is trying to stage a love with partners and already revamped its distribution channel to triple its 150-strong reseller base and overhauled the services programmes to take on third party maintainers more effectively.

Distributors today start reseller training for CAS - aimed at mid-market and low-end enterprises that have moved to a virtualised environment - and the full launch will start in Q2, said Paul Early, HP business manager for technology services.

"This is designed to be compatible and more engaging with our partners so we don't cut across them," he told MicroScope.

CAS includes patch management, remote monitoring, managed firmware, an element of break fix, remote monitoring and options to buy various response times. It can be co-delivered depending on the resellers' own infrastructure.

"If you think about where the cloud is going, these are the services that will become more prevalent in the market than straight forward break fix," said Early.

HP projects that 70% of mid-market services will be sold by partners with the remainder fulfilled by the direct sales force.

But Early does not expect efforts to invigorate its service channel overnight, "it will take a while to ramp up, probably a three year ramp, we don't expect to seel hundreds of these from day one."

Resellers need to invest in sales and technical certifications to qualify for a specialisation and subsequently the Gold partner badge.

Given the expense and time in building these skills, Martin Hellawell, managing director at Softcat, questioned why some highly accredited partners would want to outsource services to HP rather than deploy their own.

"There is a little contradiction in the model for a player like us," he said.


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