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HP offers marketing choice after reseller criticism

Simon Quicke

Hewlett-Packard has moved to draw a line under the long-running source of contention in the channel caused by its market services agency (MSA).

Speaking to MicroScope, Dave Poskett, director Solutions Partner Organisation at HP, said that it took reseller feedback seriously and it would be offering greater flexibility over the way gold partners interacted with its marketing agency.

"We have got the marketing services agency to focus on demand generation, events and leads and they will be very competitive and for the top gold partners these three areas the agency will be going after," he said.

"But a reseller can work with the agency of in-house we will be more flexible. We are now saying that they have a choice," he added.

The channel has voiced mixed feelings about the marketing agency in the past, particularly when there was no choice about using the MSA.

The changes to the MSA come as the vendor pledges to increase the number of leads that it generates for resellers in 2009 attempting to top the 6,000 it produced this year.

Poskett said that it had just unveiled a dedicated sales team driving SME sales leads to preferred partners across Europe and it had added more consumer products into the channel portfolio to increase the sales that could be gained from the prosumer market.

He said that although the market remained tough he expected growth next year and believed that as resellers priced up the cost of working with certain vendors it would gain support.

"In the current economy people are going to have to make choices and there will be consolidation at all levels. People will have to make choices about who they want to partners with and where they place their bets," he said.

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