Published: September 12th, 2017

HP Inc. is looking to better educate and train its worldwide partners with its latest announcement at HP Reinvent, it’s annual global partner event, this year in Chicago on September 12.

The company has launched HP University, a solution that combines sales skills education, product training, and certifications to help all its partners, regardless of level, optimize revenue streams, minimize wasted selling efforts, and overall future-proof their business.

HP says its University program will “empower and equip” its 18,000 global partners through online and instructor-led face-to-face training.

Courses include sales skills development and strategic solution selling, which “immerse attendees in realist business problems, and provide strategies to uncover key customer challenges, craft proposals and deliver the right messages to the right customers,” the company says. The program covers all of HP’s core offerings, such as device-as-a-service (DaaS) management, security, mobility, and managed print services.

“HP offers partner-focused, consultative training with a thoughtful approach to drive the bottom line,” Thomas Jensen, vice president of worldwide channel sales strategy at HP Inc., says at Reinvent. “Our global partner-focused HP University allows our vast ecosystem to focus on driving channel growth with relentless execution, a simple and clear education program and streamlined, effective operations to maximize growth and profitability.”

HP University is offered in 11 languages in 170 countries, and was beta-tested in three markets prior to deployment. The company adds that it will continue to offer HP Partner First, it’s channel partner program, but that it will be “enhanced” by HP University’s immersive real-time learning approach that goes beyond just product training.

What this means for partners

In particular, HP University is meant to help partners migrate their business from the increasingly out of date transactional sales model to contractual and subscription sales models – a shift that is on the rise, especially in the technology sector. By making this switch, HP says its partners “can tailor their computing environments to shape the experiences they want for customers as well as their workforce. This shift requires a consultative approach to selling; HP University is intended to address this shift while increasing the bottom line for partners,” the company says in a Sept. 12 press release.

Stephanie Dismore, vice president and general manager of Americas channels, adds that right now, none of this training will be required for partners to move up a level within HP. However, it is looking into ways that would help differentiate and distinguish between partners that do these training and education programs, and those that do not.

But in terms of why partners should invest in this program and encourage their employees to take courses, Mary Ann Yule, CEO of HP Inc. Canada, explains that this program “enables sales people to enhance their sales abilities in a way that they may not have had a chance to otherwise.” She adds that these sales skills, while going along an HP-oriented agenda, will be incredibly valuable for people moving forward and are applicable to many other sales positions.