In a narrow victory, Samsung remained reigning champ of the 19-inch to 30-inch Flat Panel Displays category, despite losing both the partnership and support subcategories to NEC. Samsung won the product innovation subcategory, buoyed by its outstanding 106.9 score in product quality, which was the second highest in that criterion in the overall survey.
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In a repeat of 2011, Samsung took the overall award by just a fraction of a point. The vendor's victory, from the standpoint of product innovation, can be attributed to it being a trailblazer in the display industry, said Richard Hutton, director of channel marketing at Samsung. Whether it's LED panels or virtualized desktops, he said, Samsung is the first vendor out of the gate with new display technologies.
"I think if you asked a sampling of value-added resellers in the U.S. channel what they recognize Samsung for, I think displays would be one of the first things to spring to mind," Hutton told CRN. "We certainly had some firsts into the market. We were the first to really transition from back-in-the-day CRT to LCD flat panels."
Hutton also emphasized Samsung's commitment to ensuring partners have the resources they need to be profitable. Webinars, newsletters and broader sales support are just a few of the ways Samsung ensures its partners' success--regardless of their size.
"We've expanded our reseller coverage model, so we are now touching way more channel partners than we were in years past," Hutton said. "We were making the mistake in years past of really just looking after our larger partners, but now we are making sure that those [smaller] partners have a sales contact."
Samsung's products and partner program are "world-class," agreed Mont Phelps, president and CEO of NWN, a Waltham, Mass., solution provider and Samsung partner.
"I think the quality of their products speaks for the technical excellence Samsung offers," Phelps said. "Any partner program starts with great products and a commitment to the channel Samsung has both, plus an effective field engagement team."