For the past eight years, ViewSonic has been fighting to take back the No. 1 spot in the Annual Report Card's Display category. The last time it won as the overall vendor in Displays was in 2001.
This year, ViewSonic finally achieved its goal. The Walnut, Calif., vendor came roaring back in Displays, beating Samsung and NEC Display in all three categories: Product Innovation, Support and Partnership.
It's been a long eight years full of hard work for View- Sonic. During that time, the vendor has made improvements in every aspect of its organization, according to Jeff Volpe, vice president and general manager of ViewSonic Americas.
"ViewSonic has been one of few manufacturers to have an unwavering commitment to partners to be recognized again as partner-centric is really exciting," he said. "We've worked very hard over the last three years to enhance programs in a way that is consistent with how solution providers have started to find ways to survive in this difficult economy. The specialization that solution providers have sought after is one thing that connected mostly with our changes. We are innovating based on their feedback to improve our programs."
So how does a vendor regain its glory days from 2001 and 2000 and 1999 and so on? Focus on its channel program. ViewSonic's Finch Club now offers vertical programs that cater to specific types of solution providers. For example, solution providers specializing in digital signage, education, government, etc., can differentiate themselves from the competition by participating in those programs that align with the specific needs of their customer base. In addition, the vendor launched an Advisory Council that allows executives to stay on top of concerns in the solution provider community.
The vendor is forging ahead with its recycling and other green programs, as well as with its communication initiatives. ViewSonic has bolstered the components of its Web portal and has enhanced support to field sales staff, as well as internal and technical staff. All in all, it has been a busy 36 months, Volpe said.
"What's different from 2009 is that we were able to launch a number of products, and we have been able to be more aggressive on pricing than we had been in the past. That's allowed us to be more interesting to VARs, and to provide a profit opportunity," Volpe said. "We've been more aggressive with promotions. A great deal of our success is tied around product innovation, time to market and our promotions to provide solution providers profit opportunities. As we've innovated, launched lots of products, marketed more aggressively and helped market their business, others have gone in the other direction."
In addition, the confidence solution providers have that ViewSonic will remain dedicated to the channel helped the vendor's scores. That, combined with its renewed emphasis on product innovation and diversification, competitive pricing and good quality earned it the overall win.
The scores from this year compared with last year's validate the vendor's efforts. In 2009, ViewSonic lost every criteria to its sole competitor, Samsung. This year, it beat Samsung in every criteria, and came in second to or tied for first with NEC Display in the other six. Among ViewSonic's biggest improvements were in Product Innovation, Postsales Support and Partner Portal, where scores rose more than 15 points in each.
"The tried-and-true ViewSonic remains--but that [alone] wasn't good enough," Volpe said. "What we had to do was innovate, change, improve and align with our solution providers' directions, and we did that."