Sony is scrapping its two UK channel programmes in favour of a single consolidated pan-European curriculum.
The vendor's two current UK channel schemes - a storage programme, StorStation, and an IT and audiovisual (AV) scheme, SME Focused - will now be united under the Sony 1 brand.
The new programme, which launches on 1 April in the UK, France, Germany and Benelux, will consist of seven elements: IT and display, medical solutions, broadcast and professional AV, storage, digital imaging and photographic, e-surveillance and business communications.
Paul McKeever, marketing manager for business generalists at Sony, said: "This clears things up. Most of our resellers are excited about getting more from Sony."
Partners under the Sony 1 scheme will be tiered as either Authorised, Certified or Specialist, with the latter receiving the most benefits and prominence in Sony's advertising campaigns. McKeever said all three tiers will receive access to its online portal, Sony1.net, and training schemes.
McKeever admitted the vendor will retain its direct model, Sony Style, and said it has no plans to become 100 per cent channel-focused, but claimed its direct sales account for only a very small part of sales.
John Cooper, director at videoconferencing reseller JKC, said Sony 1 sounds good, but claimed specific Sony product sets, such as videoconferencing, need dedicated Sony account managers.
"If good channel support is to be given then partners will need to be dealt with by a dedicated account manager in their product area, rather than a non-specific account manager," he said.
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