Samsung Electronics America Thursday unveiled the initial launch of a certification program for partners in the U.S. along with other channel program enhancements as part of its push to boost sales of enterprise mobility and other B2B solutions.
Certifications will be free and will be offered in two categories — mobility sales specialist, and professional display and SSD sales specialist.
Other channel enhancements include updated training within the Samsung partner portal; an expansion of personalized marketing support to all partners, rather than just those in the Platinum and Gold tiers; and the launch of a new channel program focused on mobility.
"What we're really trying to do is increase our investments in channel partners to help them take advantage of this huge and growing total addressable market in mobility," said Carrie Maslen, vice president of strategy and operations at Samsung, in an interview with CRN. "We're doubling down on our investment because we really believe we can help partners increase their top line and bottom line."
Samsung's STEP channel program, which stands for Samsung Team of Empowered Partners, was launched in 2014. The company isn't disclosing the number of partners in the program.
Samsung's certification program will include authorization of partners as Samsung Knox resellers once they've completed the mobility sales specialist certification. All certified partners will be able to display a certification badge on marketing materials. Also, the program will enable partners to earn credit toward accreditation from third-party associations such as InfoComm, Samsung said.
One of the main investments from Samsung is in updating online trainings, according to the company. Previously, the standard trainings were 30-minute PowerPoint videos with voiceovers or pre-recorded webinars, said Christy Jones, who heads Samsung's training and certification program.
The training has now gotten a refresh to make the sessions more interactive and engaging — for instance, through bringing in games and videos, she said. Training modules will also now be two to 10 minutes in length.
Samsung's new training offering "helps us ensure our specialists are certified to provide the best experience for our clients," said Bob Kane, senior vice president for product management at Samsung partner Insight.