Page 1 of 2
Acer is looking to bolster its strong market share in the U.S. by rolling out its Acer Channel Excellence Program, an exclusive program for solution providers who hit specific annual sales goals.
The ACE Program is designed to provide a higher level of sales and support for qualified Acer solution providers who do a minimum of $100,000 in sales in a calendar year. Solution providers who qualify for the ACE tier will have access to enhanced sales and support from the vendor as well as deal registration.
The No. 3 PC maker in the U.S. hopes to launch the program with 200 to 300 solution providers in the U.S. with the goal of rapidly increasing to 500 partners domestically, making it an exclusive part of Acer's partner ecosystem, which company estimates at a whopping 14,000 partners.
"We have spent the last three or four months talking to end users and channel partners trying to figure out the best practices in the industry around Acer," said Gregg Prendergast, vice president, commercial sales and marketing, Acer America. "A lot of the program elements are a final result of those conversations."
Most importantly, ACE partners will have access to a higher level of sales support as well as special deal pricing and the opportunity to register deals.
For Steve Ciarciello, CEO of CompuData, a Philadelphia-based solution provider, seeing Acer make strides in its partner program is encouraging and he says he hopes the vendor will give the same attention to its line of servers.
"[Prendergast] is basically bringing back channel support to Acer, which was gone for a long time," Ciarciello said. "It is always helpful, especially with Acer, to have a well-trained rep that can be brought in to talk about the merits of the company when compared to a competitor. The ACE Program certainly doesn't hurt."
For solution providers, enhanced sales support comes in the form of an 800-number with a special PIN that routes calls to a U.S.-based center where the most experienced support staff will pick up the phone, Prendergast said.
"There are three layers of inside support," he said. "The tier one team that ACE Program solution providers will have access to all have a minimum of five years experience with Acer. This group will be paired with ACE partners."
For Dave Hendren, president of Dayton Cincinnati Technology Services, an Ohio-based solution provider, the benefits of working with the same qualified support staff repeatedly can make vendor interaction much easier.
"In some cases, it is hard to get a question answered by a vendor because there are so many layers of support personnel," said Hendren. "I may have to talk to five people to get a question answered. With the [ACE Program] it's not a problem. I have a number to call and talk to people I have a relationship with, or who have at least heard of me."
While ACE program members get the cream of the support crop, solution providers who don't quite qualify will receive support from slightly less experienced reps. Meanwhile, new Acer partners will receive support from the least experienced Acer employees.
"New resellers will get the least experienced inside support," said Prendergast. "That's probably fair."