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Samsung Getting 'Significant Scale' With Mobility Channel Program, Launching New Device Tryout Program

The company is seeking to continue its momentum with solution providers through a new program that lets customers try out up to five devices risk-free.

Samsung saw revenue in its U.S. mobility channel program nearly double during the first half of 2019, year over year, as the company has sought to be the "most collaborative" mobile device vendor when it comes to working with partners, Samsung's mobile channel chief told CRN.

The momentum should also get a boost from the launch of Samsung's latest business-friendly device, the Galaxy Note10 smartphone, last week, said Mike Coleman, vice president and mobility channel chief at Samsung Electronics America.

[Related: The 10 Biggest Features On Samsung's Galaxy Note10]

Along with smartphones boasting an array of features aimed at business users—such as the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S series devices—Samsung has also been going after the B2B market with tablets such as the Galaxy tab Active2, a channel-exclusive rugged tablet that launched in mid-2018. Unit growth on both smartphones and tablets "has been crazy," Coleman said.

"We are starting to get some significant scale [with channel partners] and we'll continue to accelerate that for the foreseeable future," Coleman said.

As a result of the progress, Samsung's U.S. mobility channel team has been able to expand by 50 percent so far in 2019 over 2018, he said.

"We are adding all of these support mechanisms to support the partner," Coleman said. "The emphasis on B2B is becoming so much more engaging inside of Samsung, because the growth speaks for itself. We've seen tremendous growth."

In terms of updates to the channel program, one new addition is a program that allows customers (through partners) to try out up to five Samsung devices risk-free.

The program is only available through a limited subset of partners for the third quarter, but "we'll launch it more broadly in Q4," Coleman said.

The program allows customers to buy up to five devices through partners, either smartphones or tablets, and try them out for a period of 30 to 45 days—with the option to get a full reimbursement if they aren't happy with the devices, he said.

"We want customers to give Samsung a try through our partners. It'll give them a jumpstart," Coleman said.

The program is a "great opportunity for an SMB company to try something out" with Samsung, said Marco Nielsen, vice president of managed mobility services at Stratix, a Norcross, Ga.-based MSP and partner of Samsung.

"I don't see anybody else doing this right now. I think it's a powerful statement for Samsung to set forth in the marketplace," Nielsen said. "Samsung actually enables proof of concepts much more easily. It makes it easy to talk about, when you have nothing to lose."

The Galaxy Tab Active2 continues to be "very strong in our pipeline," Nielsen noted. And he gives Samsung high marks overall as a partner.

"They've even told me that if customers have specific needs, let us know. They want feedback as well," Nielsen said. "They listen to customers. And that really helps our story, working with them with customers. They're really willing to work with people."

Ultimately, Samsung is aiming to keep up its growth pace through helping partners to establish mobility practices and "building out some really powerful programs" for solution providers, Coleman said.

“We are certainly the most collaborative [smartphone vendor], in terms of partnering with our channel partners,” he said. "We are expanding, and we are eagerly embracing partners that want to join this momentum that we're building.”

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