HP webOS Central provides training for the unwashed carrier store masses | webOS Nation

HP webOS Central provides training for the unwashed carrier store masses 58

by Derek Kessler Thu, 13 Jan 2011 11:01 pm EST

Carrier store education was one of the biggest problems facing Palm. As we’ve said before, they faced the TiVo problem: what makes the Pre better than an iPhone or Android smartphone is difficult to sum up quickly. HP has seen the problem, and put together the new HP webOS Central training portal to fix it.

The site, meant for carrier store salespersons, includes a series of webOS 10X training videos. It starts with the obligatory webOS 101 (an introduction to Palm devices and what makes webOS, well, webOS) complete with extra heavy hints about a future webOS product ecosystem where smartphone, tablet (or slate, as HP seems to prefer), and netbook all run webOS and share information as a “friendly little product family.

More info and photos after the break!

webOS 105, however, is the important one. It shows the salesperson how to demonstrate webOS to a customer. It shows off Just Type with quick actions and custom search engines. Though we can’t help but imagine there’s a lot missing, but then again, you want to keep the message focused and simple, which HP has succeeded in doing here.

HP webOS Central also has several one-sheet explainers to quickly sum up what Synergy, Just Type, “true multitasking,” and what’s new with webOS 2.0, as well as product cards for the Pre, Pixi, and Plus variants (but none for the as-of-yet-not-available-in-US-carrier-stores Pre 2).

As an incentive, trainees can accumulate points and redeem them for Palm and HP products. A Touchstone or car charger will run you 2,000 points, a Pre Plus runs for 15,000 points, while an HP Mini 210 netbook will cost you 18,000 points. And if tech doesn’t suit them, points can be redeemed for movie tickets and gift cards from Starbucks and HP. Trainees get points just for daily log-ins to the site and watching training videos, as well as pass quizzes and referring coworkers.

It’s good to see HP taking carrier training seriously. We have a pretty insulated view of the smartphone world from our perch in PreCentral HQ; it’s easy to forget that most in the US view the smartphone world as iPhone/Droid/BlackBerry, and they rely on the carrier store salesperson to educate them.

Source: HP webOS Central; Thanks to Chris for the tip!



This is a good start HP/Palm. Keep going after carrier salespeople. Reward them for selling your devices--->more people buy Palm devices--->more developers make apps-->back to step 1. Now you have a consumer/developer circle.

Excellent step!!

Aggressive... I like it... Now how about some new hardware. I bet at this point I could train someone on how to use a Pre better than most Sprint Reps... I'm just sayin HPalm!

You could train someone how to use a Pre better than most Sprint reps...

But what does that solve about the untrained Sprint reps?

I hope this works.C'mon sprint show love to the next webOS device.(not the Pre 2)

Does Pre Central feel a bit ripped off by HP using the name "HP webOS Central"? On the one hand, I guess it is a complement; recognition of your success in the Palm marketplace. On the other side, it's a bit of the rug being pulled out from under your feet.

I guess it all comes down to the same argument Microsoft is making, in regard to the term "App Store"?

it's a phone. it doesn't feel.

regardless outside of this website the name brand palm is not strong. not nearly as strong as the brand HP.

Why would it matter? Pre Central is not the only one using "Central". There's Android Central, wpcentral, and yes, for some reason, treocentral. And that's just in this little community of phones. There's a lot of things that end with "central".

My first thought as well. If PC was still going to change their name to embrace the coming breadth of devices, it just got a bit trickier...

That's a great idea. It'd be cool to see a setup like this in store for customers to use as well. Just a simple little (10"+) touch screen near the Palm display demonstrating how the devices work. Heck it could be a way for customers not even planning on buying a Palm to waste time waiting for a rep and maybe give them some new opinions at the same time.

How to easily explain to customers: "(insert phone name) with cards"

Also, weboscentral.org is available, and net or com are probably reletively cheap

I was almost imagining a Surface like product running webOS demos in carrier stores, similar to the giant iPhone screens in AT&T stores.

That would be pretty sweet, have that "light circle" finger thing showing all the gestures and how sexy it is to use.. I like it!

This is great, Derek. But is there any incentive for them to actually sell the davices?

I hope when they get some new hardware out there they will go the extra mile and offer some SpIFFs to the salespersons to generate some immediate interest. Call it a bribe if you want, but it will work better than anything else they could do on that end. Salespeople will go out of their way to learn how to sell soemthing if they have an immediate financial reward for doing so.

There goes that idea for Precentral's new site name.

Yep! I've been meaning to ask the editors here when they were going to change the site name to webOS Central, but it appears HP has stolen their thunder.

Exceptional. This is no doubt indicative of HP's sales and marketing prowess and depth, as well as overall resources. HP knows how to identify and create market demand for, and engineer sales of, its solutions. The future will be bright for whatever HP webOS products are on the horizon. Imagine the momentum and results when this really kicks into gear on or about February 9th.

Any word on which carriers are getting the training? All of them? Sprint only?

How can the sourced rumors not start now?

If you click on the source provided above, then click as unregistered, scroll down to employer...the drop down gives you the "Big 3" option as well as others.

Not sure if this answers your question, but it seems like a start since those 3 have been loaded for starters.


I'd like to take that training myself, and I don't even care about the bonus points. What's the URL? ;-)

Feel free to take the customer based training that HP provides - http://learning.palm.com/.

Too bad one has to log in to access this info.

Nothing stopping you registering. There's no special access requirements. You don't even need to validate the email address you provide.

This should also be an excellent source for the webOS evangelist, no?

Good! Great! ... Because of all the carrier neglect that will sure to be going on, it will be nice to see options available to the 'willing' salesperson who wants to be prepared.

You can create an account. Select Other for Employer and put in NA for Store Number and Name. I'm watching the videos now, pretty sweet. www.hpweboscentral.com

can you still get the points?

I've done the same. I think we are technically eligible to collect points, but I ain't ever gonna cash 'em in. I evangelize for free.

I agree with most people here it is good to see HP getting this out to the sales teams but why is is this not available to the general public?

This would be a great way to show off to everyone how great webOS is! If it was me in charge of sales and marketing I would 100% put up a customer version of this right now and have loads of links from HP, Palm and any other business HP own.

I agree. While I do believe this would be a great resource for employees selling the product as it rewards them for knowledge they gain on the product, I think that there's something to be said with regard to word-of-mouth advertising. The iPhone isn't swaying over customers solely by having them visit the stores; one person gets the product, they show it to their friends and relatives and eventually, they in turn get one.

It would be interesting to see HP make a portal for consumers who also would like to help make the push for this product. I really don't want to get a job working at a carrier retail store, but definitely enjoy the product enough to help advertise it.

Word of mouth advertising doesn't come from a company's marketing material. It comes from having a great product out there that people use and recommend to others. Or, devices that are out there in use that get seen and used by others. So if HP wants word of mouth advertising then they should think about getting some decent hardware out there.

This is awesome. Training is so important and it's good to see that hphas come up with an incentive based, inuitive training program. From what I understand about Sprint,and maybe other carriers,is that there are "specialists" for certain phones. The palm specialist I spoke with months ago seemed excited. Heck I've gone into stores and walked people through webOS on the pre. Hopefully this will get the reps preparedto show it off and get somes sales.

I am sure precentral.net already have weboscentral.net ... if not, they should...

Or perhaps they were forced to sell it back to HP if they ever had it. The world may never know...

just watched one to see how they did. I noticed when they talked about updates that they said, "The updates arrive automatially over the air and install themselves if you forget. Your phone is always up to date." I don't think telcel customers would agree with that...

I have to think HP is bringing new phones soon after seeing this training site. There's no reason at all to create a training tool for old products.

"unwashed" carrier store masses? What does that mean?

I was wondering the same thing. I never heard that expression before. Does he mean untrained, as in not "brainwashed" like us?

It's an old expression "unwashed masses" and refers to general public. It probably refers to immigrants coming over to US in steerage class in big slow boats because they couldn't afford better transportation. (most of this is pre-airplane era) So it is a compliment of sorts that you are the elite and know what is quality stuff like webos.

"Unwashed masses" is merely a term used (frequently in political/social commentary) to refer to people that, in the writer's opinion, both collectively and individually are uninformed / under-informed, and have acted illogically / irrationally.

unwashed masses
great unwashed
uninformed masses
hoi polloi
MTV 16 and Pregnant
Jerry Springer's "Baggage"

Unwashed masses is a reference to a group that is uneducated in a particular topic. Many of us have experienced carrier reps who knew nothing about the Pre and instead tried to steer people to a phone they were familiar with (Droid's were a biggie). Hopefully HP will have a better marketing campaign, including incentives for carrier reps.

I agree with you & hope ur right. I really hope it is a month or less after announcement, but that would be hard to keep under wraps, no?

Looks like new phones and no exclusives to me. Good news!

fricken bathe you nasty masses.

Meh, the Verizon store reps will still be pushing Android hard.

Is that why they list three kinds of phones on the Verizon Wireless site: iPhones, Smartphones, and Feature Phones?

Lets the stores cover the easy stuff. Once they gottem, we'll takeover :)

Curious under employers drop down menu it does not list T-mobile. I guess they don't view them as a major carrier or do they just lump them in with AT&T.?

I also have been wondering what will become of precentral once we get more webos devices. If HP keeps making new Pres then it's a fine site name for those device users. But they shoulve went with WebOSCentral from the start, similar to WPCentral & AndroidCentral which both encompass an operating system rather than a single device. Imagine if there was a site for each Android phone. It seems to be simpler to have a site for the OS with subsections for each device. Surely PreCentral will continue to be THE place to go for WebOS news & help, but people who buy future phones will not be searching google for Pre related help. Perhaps if precentral.net buys or already owns weboscentral.org they can redirect the traffic here?

i went and racked up 2260 points to get a touchstone but they want proof of employment. it was a worth a try..

i was wondering that myself, thanks for posting before I went & did the same ;]

how did you get that many points? im maxed at 1270 :(

All this talk and absolutely no action. I want WEBOS 2.0 even though I've already switched to lovely Android

Who still believe one word to palm is crasy. Only talk. I want see new device, bud no in you tube but in store. This visions will change several times.

Hello... Mr. Kessler sir.. MISTER KESSLER!!!!

I just went on and BS'd my way into the lessons. the Quiz after the WebOS 101 asks a questions that says, "in the future you'll find WebOS on multiple devices like
a- phones
b- slates
c- netbooks
d- all of the above....

The answer it says is right is D... Which one can only assume means that HP has plans for WebOS on a netbook type device.... could this be pointing to a hybrid type device like the Samsung 7 series that was revealed at CES or like the ASUS Slide? if so, this is my dream come true!! Just thought I wold mention in case you wanted to throw in an UPDATE. I'm not sure how to reach you other than this post... hope it doesn't get lost... I think people wold be very interested to know!!!

im maxed out at 1270 points. How did you guys get more points?