Samsung has launched its first partner programme solely for its IT and mobile communications (IM) channel yesterday, after admitting it didn't pay enough due diligence to partners previously.
Samsung already had a partner programme for its B2B resellers, which included an aspect of IM, but this is the first programme for all IM resellers. Before the programme the vendor used to communicate with mobile resellers on an ad hoc basis.
Conor Pierce, vice president IT and mobile at Samsung, said: "In the past we really were focused on volume selling, driving volume into the market. We were not really paying due diligence or respect to our partners, and I think there has been a massive change in the way we now engage. We have become much more engaged with our partners and how we can support them."
Nicci McKenzie, senior channel marketing manager for distribution and indirect, told CRN: "[Our partners] haven't had access to things as simple as assets and selling tools. We wanted to offer that as a one-stop shop. We are a successful manufacturer, but we are not arrogant about it. That might have come across in the past without it meaning to. We are not too big to help even a small reseller."
McKenzie previously worked at BlackBerry, and she said she created the Samsung programme based on her experiences with the BlackBerry partner programme.
The Samsung Partner Programme will consist of three tiers, with the highest being Premium, then Strategic and Approved.
The initial tiering will be decided based on resellers' sales of Samsung products over the next two months. Resellers will have to upload their sales to the portal for the figures to count towards their tier.
Premium partners will be eligible for marketing funds, as well as getting exclusive incentives and dedicated channel support.
McKenzie told partners: "We need to understand how you are selling, your level of engagement with us and your requirements. As the programme grows we encourage you to grow and we want to ultimately get everybody up to premium status."
McKenzie assured resellers that the new programme was not a way for Samsung to bypass its distributors.
David Greetham, product manager at reseller Arrow Communications, was at the partner programme launch and said it was "good to be at the start of their partner programme journey".
"It's good to see where they are looking to take it. It's something we've kind of seen before. But I think that is what they are doing, taking experiences from BlackBerry and how they used to do it, and bringing that to Samsung, which is good," he said.
"I think [the programme] is very transparent. I think registering your sales is a good idea. It means they can then categorise their partners, and then based on the sales Samsung can then give them more support."
Today saw 14 of the UK IT channel's biggest hitters come together to determine the winners of CRN's WiC awards. But what does being a WiC judge actually involve? Doug Woodburn reports
'Smaller firms may struggle to keep up with Microsoft's innovation with Dynamics' says CEO Stuart Fenton after acquiring assets from Profile Enterprise Solutions
Pete Peterson admits the firm hasn't always been the 'easiest company to do business with'
New chief exec Aaron Painter says 'longer-term strategy' could see firm tackle the Asian market