Hewlett-Packard is to sign up over 200 UK resellers in a franchising agreement aimed at bringing office centre IT solutions to small and medium sized enterprises.
In return for making a flat fee payment and contributing 20 to 30 per cent of their floor space, selected HP resellers will be given the HP Office Center badge and will be helped to provide solutions for businesses ranging from sole traders up to commercial work groups of 100 people.
Paul Andrews, MD of Andrews Computer Services in Bushey, said he has been urging H-P to do something like this for years. ?HP is too big an animal to have a resource to talk to the end-user. For small dealers and small businesses wanting to start up a dialog with them it has been like hitting a brick wall. The franchise will give us a much better communication channel with HP?
John Mostyn speaking on behalf of the Netfire Group in charge of implementing the scheme for HP said that small businesses have been caught between a rock and a hard place. ?They can?t go to the corporate reseller because they are too small and they can?t go to multi outlet suppliers because they tend to supply everything and have no real expertise in providing solutions.?
HP Office Centres will offer dealers a standard set of services including HP Office Centre brand/advertising logo and HP Office Centre reseller training. Initially advertising will be centrally controlled and part-funded by HP to establish the HP Office Centre logo nationally.
The brand will be offered as a selective franchise to resellers who satisfy the criteria for membership. Dealers will need qualified technical staff and must be able to use demonstration equipment. HP intends to have 350 of its resellers signed up to the scheme within a year.
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