Channel Stalwart Gilroy Set To Lead Samsung B2B Barrage

Kevin Gilroy

Kevin Gilroy, who has helped drive a channel resurgence at both SAP and Hewlett-Packard, is set to be named an executive vice president at Samsung Electronics America, overseeing the company's U.S. business-to-business (B2B) division, sources said.

Gilroy's appointment comes just one month after the seasoned channel veteran stepped aside as senior vice president and general manager of global small and mid-market business for ERP software giant SAP.

Gilroy, who joined SAP five years ago as senior vice president of North America, was one of the driving forces behind SAP's aggressive mid-market partner push.

Gilroy's appointment comes with the $228 billion diversified conglomerate looking to grow its Samsung B2B sales from 15 percent of the company's global revenue to 40 percent. Gilroy will report to Samsung Electronics North America President and CEO Gregory Lee, sources said.

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"Gilroy could be a game-changing addition to the Samsung team," said one top executive for a Samsung enterprise channel partner, who did not want to be identified. "He understands what motivates the channel and what training, collateral and incentives are required to build a successful program and field engagement model. I look forward to seeing what he does to kick Samsung into high gear."

The partner executive said Samsung has a "compelling suite of enterprise products, starting with vertical market software and moving to large format displays, printers all the way down to their SSDs and tablets and laptops, but have had a difficult time incenting partners to bring the full product set to customers."

[Related: Samsung Hopes Vertical Drive Will Bolster Channel Opportunity]

The executive said Samsung has been mounting an aggressive vertical market enterprise push including retail and education. "With the vertical focus, it is now more critical than ever that Samsung has a solidified channel program to bring together hardware with their vertical market software solutions."

As part of its vertical push, Samsung has put together a number of bundles including a "classroom in a box" offering and a point of sale (POS) offering.

Samsung is set to host its first ever Channel Partner Summit next January in San Antonio, Texas. "It looks like Samsung is really stepping up their channel game," said the solution provider executive who did not want to be identified.