Toshiba Offers Discounts

Under the new Business Demonstration Program, Toshiba VARs receive a 40 percent discount on the Portege m200, Tecra M3 and Qosmio G15 notebooks, the company's three top sellers in the channel, said Darren McGeorge, a senior manager at Toshiba's Digital Products Division, Irvine, Calif.

Partners are eligible for a certain number of notebook discounts per fiscal half, which runs April 1 to Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 to March 31, McGeorge said. Platinum-level partners qualify for five discounted units per half, Gold members can receive three units per half, and Silver-level partners are eligible for one discounted unit per half.

Toshiba is offering the discounts after receiving feedback at regional executive council meetings from partners who said they wanted more access to products for demonstration purposes, McGeorge said.

McGeorge said Toshiba also wanted to stay competitive with vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM that give their partners discounts on products to use as loaners or demo machines to make a sale, he said. Toshiba's 40 percent discount is either higher than or comparable to discounts other vendors offer partners on select products, he added. Toshiba launched the Preferred Partner Program about two years ago and since then has been trying to build out its channel significantly, McGeorge said.

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Brian Russell, vice president of sales at CTI Solutions, Overland Park, Kan., said his company has had its ups and downs in its eight years as a Toshiba partner. However, over the past two years, he said, things have been on "an upswing," and Toshiba is being very aggressive in working with CTI to win customers.

"They're making as big a push as I've seen in eight years to go out and get new business," Russell said.

However, not all of Toshiba's partners are satisfied with the vendor's interaction with the channel. One Toshiba VAR, who asked not to be named, said he has had conflicts with the vendor recently because it compensates salespeople for sending deals direct rather than through the channel.