AMD Adds Distribution Track, Rewards To Partner Program

AMD Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of its Fusion Partner Program by adding a new track for partners that sell its products under a distribution model, as well as a loyalty program designed to drive channel business.

In the past, AMD has dealt with different types of distributors -- systems distributors, channel distributors, and master distributors -- differently, while focusing primarily on components. Now, the distribution track applies to both systems and components, and would offer the same benefits to systems distributors that have been available to channel providers.

"We want to make it globally consistent and locally flexible," David Kenyon, vice president of Worldwide Channel Marketing, said in an interview with CRN. "It will allow regions to make modifications to core marketing programs, while combining the different types of distributors into one track."

AMD launched the Fusion Partner Program last September, merging four different partner tracks into a single entity, and thus consolidating its CPUand GPU partner channels. The Fusion Partner Program brought together the existing ATI Radeon Graphics partner program with the AMD Solution Provider program, AMD Channel Provider program and AMD Alliance program.

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Kenyon said the new program is different in that it focuses on the partners' ways of doing business rather than AMD's. Fusion established a new tiering structure within the single partner track. AMD channel partners are categorized as "Select," "Premier" and, the highest designation for best-selling partners, "Elite."

Next: AMD's New Rewards Program

"We want to prepare the groundwork in the channel for Fusion, which will have graphics when it comes." he said.

AMD is also adding the AMD Rewards Program, which allows partners to earn points based on sales, creating added incentives for hitting certain sales marks. The system of tracks and tiers originally applied regionally is now the basis of a worldwide program. Partners can then redeem their points in exchange for merchandise from the AMD Rewards Online Catalogue.

The objective of the program is to create demand for AMD solutions, as well as build partner loyalty and drive channel sales growth, according to an AMD spokesperson. The AMD Rewards Program targets Select level partners, the customers of AMD's distributors, incentivizing them to purchase up the channel and create more revenue, the spokesperson said.

"It’s a real departure from how many suppliers approach the channel. We're on the forefront of engaging the channel, and we're further along on the server side," Kenyon said.

As for how the AMD Fusion Partner Program is driving sales growth currently, Kenyon said it often takes a while to generate growth on product sales alone. AMD is therefore focused, he said, on increasing sales through other means such as training and events.