ARC 2011: Flat Panel Displays

Winner: Samsung

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WINNER: Samsung

With Samsung taking home the prize in the Display category for nine of the past 10 years, last year's upset victory by competitor ViewSonic was a bit of a "slap in the face," according to Richard Hutton, senior channel marketing manager for Samsung's Enterprise Division.

But in 2011, the vendor has redoubled its efforts, and won top honors in all two of the three subcategories of product innovation, support and partnership in CRN's newly defined Flat Panel Displays category.

"I think what 2010 taught me was that our [partner] program had gotten a little stale. We've brought in some fresh resources this year to really focus on that program, and it's certainly born fruit," said Hutton.

With an intensified commitment to the channel, Samsung has tweaked its program tiers, and added new and improved online content for VARs to take advantage of, such as Webinars and video training. It also has improved its partner Web portal with better navigation. And a newly launched asset recovery and recycling program helps VARs dispose of clients' used hardware in an environmentally sensitive manner.

"We've done a lot to deliver elements of the program that were new and were obviously popular with the reseller channel," Hutton said.

A fresh line of LED desktop monitors have driven sales in the channel in 2011. Samsung was first to market with a few LED monitors in 2010, but has expanded its line with a whole family of options this year. One of its high-end products, the 650 Series LED monitor, features a vertical alignment panel with a wide viewing angle, wider color gamut and high resolution display, and can be incorporated into a wireless docking hub, called Central Station.

"We're really pushing the envelope on that whole desktop experience, whether you're in a virtualized or a client experience. We have a very broad portfolio of products that resellers can represent and resell, depending on what the needs of the client are," Hutton said. "We're really bringing what the end users and the resellers have been asking for."

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