BenQ Sweetens VAR Program

The new Platinum Qreseller program, expected to be unveiled on Wednesday at the Intel Solution Summit in Las Vegas, is aimed specifically at solution providers that create hardware solutions for customers and offer consultative sales, said Al Giazzon, vice president of marketing at BenQ. "It's not for retail or e-tail resellers," he noted.

With the program, Irvine, Calif.-based BenQ is offering solution providers more access to marketing dollars and back-end rebates on higher-end products, according to Giazzon. For solution providers that enroll in Platinum Qreseller and buy their products through distribution, BenQ will hook into their distributors' POS system to help them start accruing marketing dollars based on purchases of BenQ's complete product line. Since solution providers may purchase from multiple distributors, the marketing dollars will be held by BenQ until passed to the reseller to support their marketing activities, Giazzon said.

VARs that sell higher-end products sourced through their distributors, such as BenQ's FP737s 17-inch analog/digital monitor, also will be eligible for an additional $20 to $30 in back-end margins, Giazzon said. "These are hard dollars to increase their profitability," he said.

In addition, BenQ will start giving solution providers seed units of some products so they can offer them to customers looking to transition to newer products, Giazzon added. The company aims to be more proactive in alerting solution providers about the availability of new products and which products will be replaced. "We are being aggressive and proactive, telling solution providers that this is going away, this is coming and click here for your seed unit," he said.

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For all BenQ monitors, solution providers now can offer customers a three-year warranty, with defective units being replaced by new products instead of the refurbished products that normally were shipped, Giazzon said. And instead of the VAR paying to ship a defective monitor to BenQ before a replacement unit can be shipped, BenQ is implementing an advanced replacement program.

"Now we will ship the replacement unit immediately," Giazzon said. "Resellers can pack the old unit in the new unit's box and ship it back to us when convenient. We pay shipping both ways."

Also new from BenQ for many solution providers is direct contact with company technicians for level-one support, without the need to escalate through level-two or level-three support. "We assume our Platinum resellers have the technical competence to handle level-two and level-three tech support themselves," Giazzon said.