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ARC 2010: Notebooks/Mobile Computers

Reliable, high-quality products, top-notch field management and solid return on investment helped Panasonic cruise to its win in Notebooks/Mobile Computers.

Panasonic racked up an overall score of 65.1, just more than 4 points higher than runner-up Hewlett-Packard and 5 points higher than third-place Lenovo, which scored 61.0 and 60.0, respectively. Dell (58.8), Toshiba (57.4) and Fujitsu (54.0) rounded out the top six.

/**/ /**/Panasonic's highest margins of victory came in the Support category, where it dominated four of the five criteria, scoring highest in Post-Sales Support, Quality of Field Management, Marketing Support, and Training. Panasonic also excelled in Providing Return on Investment and in Solution Provider Programs.

It's no secret why Panasonic is so highly regarded by solution providers: The company's Toughbook line of ruggedized notebook PCs has been a perennial channel favorite.

"Reliability is always the No. 1 factor in the manufacturing of our products, and it's something that comes from customer and partner feedback," Sheila O'Neil, vice president of channel sales, Panasonic Solutions Co., told CRN.

In addition to doing 100 percent of its business through channel partners, Panasonic also works at the channel program level to ensure that its partners have plenty of chances to make money. O'Neil cited Panasonic's Rules Of Engagement (ROE) opportunity registration program as one facet of its partner strategy that has been particularly effective.

In the past year, Panasonic has increased the pricing advantage for solution providers and made it easier for them to qualify, according to O'Neil.

"If they bring in a net-new opportunity, they automatically qualify," she said. "We are very loyal, and we've put a lot of enhancement programs in place over the past year that have helped increase partner profit."

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