Currently, with stocks on a roller coaster ride and business forecasts uncertain, the Toughbook division of Panasonic is faced with a customer base that is looking at being more efficient and doing more with less.
"It's not simply, 'selling the box,' " says O'Neil. "It's selling business efficiencies. VARs need to position themselves as, 'I know how to increase business efficiencies and here's how we are going to do it. As margins become less and less, they need to change offerings beyond, 'Yes, I can get you a notebook.' I think this will resonate with partners now and moving forward into the future as to how they should sell."
To further assist and support partners, Panasonic is offering leasing as an alternative to buying equipment. O'Neil said she's been promoting that option to partners and making it more available.
O'Neil, who won VARBusiness' Channel Executive of 2008, stressed the importance of resellers being able to evolve their selling styles. She plans to focus on guiding partners on how to effectively sell differently.
"It can be tough to get partners to take action if it's just: Read this and do something," she explained. "This will be more hands on. We'll bring them experts in ways to change their thought process. Third-party experts often see things on a different level. "