Panasonic Restructures, Arms VARs With End-To-End Solutions For Vertical Markets


Panasonic is putting the finishing touches on a major restructuring effort that will arm its channel partners with the ability to offer fuller, more end-to-end solutions for the enterprise, vertical markets and SMBs, the consumer electronics told CRN in a recent interview.

After announcing its global restructuring initiative last year, Panasonic over the past several months has condensed a sprawling list of product-defined business units into three primary, market-based segments: B2C, B2B Devices and Components, and B2B Solutions. Not only will this re-org help channel partners more easily navigate Panasonic’s enormous product portfolio, but it will afford them bundled, more full-fledged solutions to offer their end clients, explained Rance Poehler, head of Panasonic’s newly formed B2B Solutions group.

"For our channel partners, I think the biggest advantage is that they will have, under one set of terms and conditions, all Panasonic B2B technology," Poehler told CRN. "And one of the biggest changes in our company is, as we break down all these various silos between the individual Panasonic companies, we are creating these end-to-end solutions that we can offer our channel partners. So basically they can walk in -- whether it’s an SMB, a Fortune 1000 company or a government entity -- and offer really a complete Panasonic solution, including our services."

[Related: CES: Panasonic Says Toughpads Can Go Places iPads Can't]

Using digital signage as an example, Poehler explained how Panasonic’s new B2B Solution group pieces together different offerings to create a more holistic solution, saving resellers from having to do it on their own. Prior to the reorganization, if solution providers were interested in offering a digital signage solution, they would have to hunt down the different components -- including hardware, content monitoring, installation services and more -- within a myriad of Panasonic product groups.

But over the next several months, partners will start to have access to a bundled digital signage SKU that packages all of these components as a single solution. What’s more, pre-packaged, end-to-end solutions will also be available for specific verticals markets, including hospitality and food services. VARs, as a result, will be able to walk into these verticals armed with the ability to outfit them entirely with Panasonic solutions and services, ranging from mobility to security.

Larger solution providers, Poehler explained, will still have an opportunity to piggyback their own services or third-party components onto these bundled SKUs. But for smaller VARs, who may lack the bandwidth to offer services of their own, these bundles will prove especially valuable, as they round out hardware sales with larger, services-based offerings.

"It’s beyond just selling more boxes," Poehler told CRN. "As we create more verticalized solutions… our channel can make money selling these solutions. We can help them move from a box business into the solutions business, and I think that’s huge for our channel."

NEXT: Panasonic Ups Its Channel Sales Support