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In North America, Motorola Solutions has about 2,500 partners, according to the company. Its goal, as described by Motorola executives during a visit with CRN earlier this year, is maintaining a 10 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in its North America channel sales.
The seeds of that channel growth were sewn before the split. Back in March 2010, what was then Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions overhauled Motorola's channel program to a points-based system that compensated solution providers based on their success in volume sales, customer satisfaction and vertical expertise.
The points in that PartnerEmpower program determine their partner levels and were also awarded based on how partners were specifically selling Motorola products and services.
"Everything in this program is about helping partners differentiate themselves," said Mark Kroh, vice president of global channels at Motorola Solutions. "We're differentiating the partner and having them create their own identities."
PartnerEmpower is organized into different tracks reflecting Motorola Solutions' various channel businesses, and Motorola's plan was to phase in those tracks over an 18-month period. Radio Solutions and Mobile Solutions, for example, were announced last fall, and cover partners that sell Motorola's two-way radio, RFID, mobile computer, bar code scanning and other product sets, including the legacy Symbol business. The Wireless Network Solutions track has been live since PartnerEmpower started, and as of September, both the Mobile Solutions and Radio Solutions tracks are live.
"Partner benefits are individually defined," Kroh explained. "It's better to do it that way than just choosing price. They can move up the chain in terms of technical specializations and have access to MDF, product and other benefits."
Also available is PartnerEmpower's first market specialization, which debuted this year and reflects what Kroh described as a way to organize Motorola partners around vertical market-based competencies in addition to their technical competencies. The first one is U.S. Federal Market, and more are coming, according to Motorola.
Kroh and Motorola also confirmed that the company has cut a number of underperforming or non-participating Motorola Solutions partners. Kroh declined to provide exact numbers but said it's a part of Motorola getting more strategic with its best and most loyal solution providers.
"We're going to have more active partners in the program," Kroh said. "That may not mean having more total partners, but more partners that participate in the program in an ongoing basis. The reason is, they have a reason to be part of the program beyond just getting a point or two difference in pricing. We will have the right partners at the end of the day."
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