Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduced new elements to its PartnerOne channel partner program following announcements earlier this year that updated the program's membership branding and core compensation. Included in the PartnerOne update are a handful of items that should pique the interest of HP's partners currently building out their cloud practices.

For one, HP rolled out new PartnerOne Specializations, including a new Gold Cloud Builder Specialization alongside the announcement of HP's Cloud Partner Solution Navigator, an online resource designed to help customers locate HP partners with the specialties they need for their IT solutions. Considering the number of organizations looking for the right trusted adviser to help them migrate from traditional IT infrastructure into the cloud, that could be of huge benefit to partners that may be able to mine the existing HP customer base for new cloud opportunities.

"HP understands that in order for our partners to grow their business and remain competitive we need to evolve how we work together," said Sue Barsamian, senior vice president of Indirect Sales for the HP Enterprise Group. "We're making the PartnerOne program simpler, more profitable and more predictable with the addition of new specialization tracks, a predictable compensation model, a consistent membership structure as well as a streamlined certification process."

HP hopes its key message—that the partner program enhancements will have a positive effect on the HP channel's ability to do business with HP—resonates among its partner community. PartnerOne is now easier and more predictable, the company claims, and the end goals are to help partners gain a competitive advantage and increase profitability.

Considering the focus HP seems to be putting on cloud, it's a little surprising there isn't more specifically related to cloud in the announcement. HP hasn't exactly been scoring high marks when it comes to building out its cloud strategy and enabling partners, and that was evident in its last set of earnings.

HP has tried to be a partner-centric company over the years, and in terms of the cloud, partners are where the company will have to focus if it hopes to be a major player in the space. Not an easy task, for sure, but with some effort and partner support, HP could increase its cloud market share.