XChange 2014: Samsung, Symantec Aim To Drive More Business Through The Channel


Samsung and Symantec are looking to have more business going through the channel in coming years, company executives told attendees at an XChange 2014 session Tuesday in San Antonio.

Samsung is looking to grow its business-to-business offerings from $11 billion today to $84 billion in 2020, said Matt Smith, vice president of printing solutions in Samsung's enterprise printing division. With the exception of two large hotel chains, all B2B sales go through the channel, Smith said.

Meanwhile, Symantec launched a new partner program in April and has seen the percentage of North American revenue coming through the channel increase from 70 percent prior to the program to 80 percent today, said May Mitchell, the company's vice president of North America marketing.

[Related: Symantec Partners Seek Balanced CEO To Jump-Start Momentum]

"Symantec was the sleeping giant," said Mitchell, noting the company now has more than 300 partners. "Well, we've woken up."

Samsung plans to focus on printing, where the South Korean-based company expects sales to increase at a 62 percent compound annual growth rate over the next three years, according to Smith.

The growth in demand for printing stems from a more mobile workforce and the gradual corporate embrace of the bring-your-own-device model, he said. Companies want their employees to be able to print not only from desktops or laptops, Smith said, but also from smartphones, tablets or the cloud. The interest doesn't ebb even if the workers are stationed at a remote location.

"Today's office is no longer PC- or server-based," Smith said. "Mobility and agility are highly valued assets."

Much of Samsung's efforts focus on enabling smartphones to easily scan, store and distribute information and images, he said. Some of Samsung's more recent tools allow for seamless capturing and sharing of whiteboards from business meetings, Smith said, allowing firms to forgo the traditional routine of taking a picture of the board and making copies.    

"The more that we can connect devices, the less you have to print," Smith said.

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