Partners Cheer New Samsung Channel Training Tools To Expand Sales Pipeline

Samsung on Thursday unveiled an educational and marketing resource blitz as part of an effort to amp up its Samsung Team of Empowered Partners (STEP) channel program.

Partners applauded Samsung’s new channel program enhancements, revealed during the company's channel partner summit in San Antonio, Texas, which include a new training and certification program and marketing concierge services.

"Samsung's new marketing and training programs will give us a competitive advantage when it comes to providing the best technology solutions and support to help our customers succeed in a rapidly transforming enterprise environment,’ said Chris Koterski, chief technology officer of Stratix, a mobile management solutions provider and Samsung business partner.

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Samsung's new training program, dubbed the Samsung Business Academy, helps partners in all tiers and levels gain certification for advancing their business knowledge of various industries and technologies, according to the company. The program will launch in the first half of 2016 and will be integrated into the current Web-based STEP portal, Samsung said.

The academy offers online and offline resources for partners to learn more about B2B solutions, including Samsung Knox security, outdoor display, and offerings in hospitality and health-care products.

Beyond product educational resources for the channel, Samsung will also offer training tools for partners looking to expand their presence in niche markets as part of its goal to increase STEP’s vertical focus, according to Richard Hutton, director of channel marketing at Samsung.

"Our vertical drive still colors our go-to-market strategy. ... We look at the market in that way," he said. "We will definitely have education tools around the health-care, finance and education markets, and will include training tools for market trends in those areas and business needs for those companies."

For vertical-focused channel partners, like Stratix's Koterski, those educational resources are key.

"Samsung's channel resources offer a simple way to discover exciting new business opportunities, including those in the key verticals of interest to us -- such as retail, health care and transportation," Koterski said.

Hutton said he hopes the new training resources will help partners drive greater demand in the enterprise segment, where the Seoul, South Korea-based company is trying to drive B2B sales to 40 percent of its overall global revenue. He said he also hopes the enhancements will increase partner profitability and simplify platforms for improved experiences.

For Samsung, Hutton said, the educational tools will help better track which partners are utilizing training resources. Samsung will include these results in its criteria to determine partner tiers, whereas tiers are currently based on partner revenue, Hutton said.

In addition to educational resources and tools, Samsung will make marketing concierge services available to solution providers and system integrators. These services will harness leading third-party marketing platforms to help partners plan and execute co-branded marketing campaigns, according to Hutton.