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HP, Encompass User Group Break New Ground

In an unprecedented move, Hewlett-Packard will work so closely with Encompass, an HP user Group, that both HP employees and Encompass' user membership will receive important strategic insider training on the firm's products and services at the HP Technology Forum in September.

In interviews, Kristi Browder, Encompass president, and David Parsons, HP's vice president of enterprise marketing, spelled out the ways and means the two groups will cooperate. "HP was a sponsor in the past," said Browder. "Now HP is a partner."

Browder noted that Parsons had sent invitations to all HP user groups aimed at developing a close cooperative exchange and partnership with the firm. She said Encompass welcomed the offer, because the user group believes the partnership represents "the best technical exchange" of information. Encompass agreed to participate in the company's HP Technology Forum, scheduled to take place in New Orleans on September 12-15.

The key selling point has been HP's promise to carry out important internal training for its employees with Encompass members permitted to attend some of these sessions to give them a jump on using new HP products and services. "We want to take our full armament and share it," said Parsons.

He explained that in addition to user groups, HP will use the Forum to inform its partner community--systems integrators, value-added resellers, independent software vendors, and HP certified professionals--of new products and developments at HP. Parsons said HP has taken a "bottoms up" approach in sessions for the event, noting that HP users were presented with a "very open call for papers."

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