10 Cool Channel Enhancements From Distributors And Vendors12:00 PM EST Wed. Jun. 12, 2013
New programs, alliances and offers can be difficult to navigate while partners are busy trying to meet the needs of their customers. CRN has taken all the searching off your plate by delivering a roundup of key offerings in recent weeks that have been coming out of distributors and vendors.
Avnet Technology Solutions has announced the availability of Avnet Services, a new global structure that combines various disparate Avnet services teams into a unified team focused on software, lifecycle and education services. The new services team will interact with Avnet's channel partners in order to extend reach and scale, as well as to increase the variety of services that can provide a consistent customer experience for end users. Leveraging a staff of more than 2,000 people, the new services' structure is expected to help address business needs around big data, cloud computing and related analytics.
Ingram Micro has expanded its General Services Administration (GSA) schedule to include the entire Cisco portfolio as a means of supporting the Santa Ana, Calif.-based distributor's role in selling Cisco products to government agencies. The distributor initially became a GSA schedule holder last year through its acquisition of Promark, a VAD primarily focused on storage, data management and imaging. Ingram Micro also has a long list of other vendors it supports through the same GSA schedule program. Support personnel are also available to assist with sales.
D&H Distributing Co. has expanded its team of solutions specialists in order to more effectively help channel partners navigate vertical markets, technologies and vendor solutions. The team is made up of subject matter experts who provide personal, one-on-one support for channel partners sourcing through the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor. The initiative also includes additional training resources around specific vendors, as well as categories such as server, storage and networking. These tracks are frequently delivered through seminars and custom-designed presentations. Additional expansion of the program is planned in the future.
D&H has launched a new tool to simplify and accelerate the vendor authorization processes necessary to satisfy minimum advertised pricing (MAP), unilateral pricing policy (UPP) and achieve similar authorizations. MAP and UPP policies are designed to protect the undercutting of product margins due to overly aggressive price reductions, but the authorization process can delay the sales process. D&H has now added a "Get Authorized Now!" button through which the partner can gain nearly instantaneous approval with a single click during the online search or order. The interface also provides a variety of other details such as lists of items covered under the authorization, policy details, etc.
The North America Services Division of Ingram Micro has expanded its IM Link services network to include the IBM software portfolio. Partners within the U.S. and Canada can team with authorized IBM Software service providers in a non-competitive environment, particularly in situations where the partner's own staff is already at maximum capacity, or where partners have not yet invested in required specializations for specific offerings. The IM Link, program, which was unveiled in April of this year, provides a service delivery framework that spans planning, implementation, management and support.
IndependenceIT, an Allentown, Pa.-based software company, has rolled out "iiT University," a new training program to help channel partners maximize their sales and marketing success with cloud services. The channel education platform includes three tracks focused on strategic consulting on cloud strategies, personalized training that is customized to the specific needs of the partner, and assistance with branded marketing material. At the technical level, assistance is also provided on provisioning, onboarding, troubleshooting and other issues.
Tech Data has extended its TDCloud efforts to include Intermedia's hosted PBX and Cloud Server offerings, which are aimed at SMB customers and the channels that serve them. Delivered through the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor's cloud enablement program, this initiative opens the Intermedia product lines to more than 60,000 solution providers. In an effort to reduce costs, small-to-medium businesses have become increasingly interested in leveraging cloud-based and VoIP-related technologies to meet their telephony needs. The customer relationship and billing can be managed under the partner's own brand, if so desired.
Tech Data has rolled out a new channel enablement tool, specifically for the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor's network of McAfee partners. Tech Data's latest TDCatalyst offering provides training resources designed to help partners expand their McAfee business. Functions include account registration and customer set-up features, specialization support, deal registration tracking, support for renewal tracking, and also research and measurement for new opportunities. In addition, webinars will be used as a means of additional insight into the McAfee value proposition with an eye toward increasing return on investment.
Arrow Electronics has announced a North American distribution agreement through which its partners can resell SafeNet's full line of security products, including the ProtectV encryption technology for virtualized and cloud environments compatible with VMware and AWS. The agreement also covers the sale of SafeNet's StorageSecure, encryption appliance, which is designed to enhance overall security and compliance for network attached storage environments. The device connects to 1- or 10-Gb Ethernet networks.
Promising faster time to revenue, Tier 3 has developed a new channel-focused cloud offering, Tier 3 Cloud Reseller Edition, which brings enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure, platform services and advanced management functions together in a single platform that can be customized and white-labeled by partners serving mid-tier to large customers needing high-end compliance and security features. The Bellevue, Wash.-based company delivers its service out of 10 data centers around the globe and supports data sovereignty regulations and deployment of geo-targeted services. Cloud orchestration templates are also available to support the deployment of complex cloud environments as well as the partners' implementation of cloud-based value-added services.