Samsung expressed a new commitment to growing its channel partner resources, particularly within vertical markets and public-sector segments, during its keynote address at XChange Solution Provider in Los Angeles Monday.
Samsung's Richard Hutton, senior channel marketing manager, and Peter Richardson, manager of printer marketing, shared the stage -- dressed in matching New York Giants uniforms -- to drive home a message of collaboration and teamwork between the South Korean-based consumer electronics giant and its partners.
"Thanks to you guys," Hutton told solution providers, "we've grown in a very difficult climate."
Hutton attributed much of the company's recent success stories -- including its 22 percent year-over-year growth and its rise to becoming the No. 4 largest notebook manufacturer in the world -- to its partners. But he also emphasized a new initiative to more proactively reach out to and communicate with its solution provider community.
[Related: XChange Solution Provider 2012 Coverage]
"One of the things that's pained me is that I talked to a lot of folks, do a little bit of follow-up that's usually tied to an opportunity, but I've never come out and said, 'All right, if you don't have somebody from Samsung calling you today, that's working with you to build a relationship -- today, we can say, we can do that,'" Hutton said.
He said that as an extension to Samsung's Partners in Innovation program, the company wants to assign a direct rep to each solution provider account to not only build a more tight-knit relationship, but to more readily provide the resources needed to engage in new trends such as cloud computing and the consumerization of IT.
"That's the big message from us at this XChange," Hutton told the audience. "We have the resources now."
He noted the continued addition of video-based content to Samsung's parner portal, including detailed Webinars that solution providers can stream live or view from the portal's archive. Any questions brought up during the Webinars will be addressed more thoroughly through one-on-one follow-up conversations hosted by a Samsung rep, Hutton said. White papers and case studies also are available.
"It's not ever a done deal; content is always being refreshed," Hutton said of the portal. "And we will continue that in 2012 with specific vertical breakouts, too."
One of the verticals mentioned was public sector and government. Samsung referred to its recent collaboration with NWN, an IT solution provider based in Waltham, Mass., to earn a new printer contract with the State of California Department of General Services. Together, the two companies will work throughout the next three years to replace old, power-intensive printers with more energy-efficient ones in state agencies.
"You'll see Samsung making a much bigger and more concerted effort [in the government space]," Richardson said.