CBE partners with HP to build winning solutions

Since 1984, CBE Technologies has provided IT solutions to more than 5,000 customers in New England and New York.   Serving small- and medium-sized businesses and state and local government, CBE offers outsourced desktop, server, and network support services through CBE OneStop™ IT Solutions.

For 18 years CBE has been an HP channel partner, handling 100 calls per month as an HP Authorized Warranty Service Provider, building CBE OneStop solutions on HP ProLiant servers, and piloting HP’s new Authorized Services Delivery Partner program.

“We have a strong relationship with HP at all levels, from the street, where the HP sales force engages with us day to day all the way up to senior management, where we collaborate to open up new markets,” said Peter Cowie, CBE Chairman.

In the recent economic downturn, when many small IT companies shrank or folded, CBE grew in size and revenue, acquiring new companies and employing a support staff of more than 100 technical resources who have thousands of certifications on the latest HP and multivendor technology.  To succeed, CBE has directly aligned its value proposition with the business objectives of its customers.

“Our goal is to drive down the costs of IT for our customers while driving service levels up,” Cowie said.  “We provide IT services at a lower cost than customers can do it themselves, and we do this by investing in the tools and infrastructure that automate IT processes.”

Leveraging HP Care Pack Services   

CBE’s OneStop solutions provide lifecycle services that help customers maintain their technology at an optimal level through proactive remote management and preventive maintenance and support.  CBE has long been authorized to resell HP-branded Care Pack services to supplement their solutions. Now, as an HP Authorized Services Delivery Partner (ASDP), CBE can deliver HP services as well. 

“In our customers’ eyes, we deliver a CBE-branded service that is enhanced through our partnership with HP to meet their business needs,” said Bill Willett, VP of Operations for CBE. 

Willett noted that HP is the only vendor selling servers who has opened their strategic stocking locations to partners. “This is a tremendous advantage for CBE.  It gives us the material and technical support we need to meet the customer’s requirement for four-hour on-site response 7x24. It’s a leverage that we use every day,” Willet said.  “In a competitive situation, we can put together a product and service delivery solution that far beats the competition.”

CBE and HP collaborate day by day to go after new business and put together winning solutions.  As a pioneer in the ASDP program, CBE recognized early on the opportunities for enhancing revenue and strengthening customer relationships by working with HP behind the scenes, especially in vertical markets such as state and local government, where CBE is dominant in New England.

“HP has seen the value of what we can do for them. Whatever my business need, I would not hesitate to partner with HP to make it happen,” Willet said.

Winning new business

Recently, CBE closed a significant win by crafting a managed services solution coupled with HP products and services to solve the problems of a New England-based footwear manufacturer.  This company had embraced technology to automate its facilities and supply chain, but its IT staff was daunted by the challenge of supporting 200 widely distributed sales people who are constantly on the move as they sell to retail outlets across the country.

With OneStop solutions, CBE monitors and proactively maintains the customers’ PC and mobile technology so it is standardized, easily supported, backed up, and secured. By including three-year extended onsite HP Care Pack hardware services in the solution, CBE can dispatch an HP engineer anytime, anywhere for onsite service when remote support is not enough.

“We forged a truly integrated solution with HP,” said Jon Whitlock, Business Development Manager and HP Global Alliance Manager for CBE.  “It’s not the end-user who calls HP, but rather a CBE engineer who already has a lot of information on the problem. HP goes to the site well-prepared because of the relationship we have. This is an unbelievable value for the end user.  It’s more than a Care Pack—it’s a thoroughly managed customer relationship.”

With solutions like this, HP Authorized Services Delivery Partners can leverage the infrastructure and technical resources of HP while maintaining their relationship as trusted advisor to the customer.  For HP, these partnerships extend the company’s reach into vertical markets, specific regions, and the small- to medium-sized business market.

“HP does a great job in delivering the resources that help make both of our companies successful,” Whitlock said.  “They help us understand industry trends, provide product training for our sales and technical staff, and engage in all the marketing activities that help drive business.”

Out-partnering them all

CBE Technologies’ high customer satisfaction ratings and its outstanding performance as an HP Services sales and delivery partner have won it the designation of “All-Star Partner” for the HP Northeast district.

The two companies are continually exploring ways of working together to open new markets and offer better solutions.  “We lead with HP products and services as long as they fit our customers’ needs,” said Rob Brace, CBE Chief Financial Officer. “Some of the proprietary software solutions that CBE has developed over the years can be packaged very nicely with HP’s capabilities to deliver solutions that our customers are looking for.”

CBE Chairman Cowie is fond of paraphrasing the late Boston politician Tip O’Neill’s famous declaration that all politics is local. “At the end of the day, all IT is local,” Cowie said. “HP has figured this out, and they are out-partnering all of their competitors in trying to solve customers’ business problems jointly with partners. By helping partners serve their customers, HP can have local IT in every state, city and town in North America.”