The last few years have seen some dramatic changes in the technologies available to support businesses. This in turn is having a profound effect on the technology distribution channel, not just in terms of what partners sell, but how they sell it. It’s clear to me that this change is going to continue to accelerate over the next 12-24 months, as more businesses than ever plan to implement technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoT, to help them compete in highly competitive markets.
As the industry changes, we want to make sure our SELECT Partner Program evolves too. It’s vital to help ensure that our partners stay ahead of the game. To take an in-depth look at how we’re doing in terms of our portfolio and the support we provide to partners, and to help further distil the factors that our pan-EMEIA partners need to be successful, we recently partnered with the channel-focused analyst firm, Canalys. We asked Canalys to independently gauge the satisfaction level of our current partner base and determine exactly how their needs are changing.
We found that our partners have been satisfied with our programs, technology, and the ease of doing business with Fujitsu. Product reliability was often cited as one of our key strengths. One of the most telling findings confirmed that the closer we work with our partners, the happier they are, and our SELECT Experts are the most satisfied with the service and support they receive.
As in any independent survey, Canalys* uncovered some areas where there’s definitely room for improvement, in terms of supporting our partners and helping them to flourish. We got the message that we could do a better job of communicating – not only with our partners, but also to help educate their customers. We also recognize the need for more support with lead generation. Additionally, there’s an opportunity for us to create some more attractive financial packages, taking the risk out of our partners business.
Another area where we are focused on improvement is in playing a bigger role in technical support and new technology training. We currently offer training in the key areas of digital transformation: Big Data, integrated systems (both hyper converged and converged), cloud and security, and we are proud of the courses we have put together. Nevertheless, we need to do more, since we found that approximately a fifth of our partners were unaware of the selection of training on offer from Fujitsu.
We have listened to you
As a result of the feedback, we have been working to update our SELECT Partner Program to better meet our partners’ changing needs. The cornerstones of the program are simplicity, innovation and enhanced engagement. We are also working to make it easier to do business with us and we are laying the foundations to allow us to provide increased support. We are also adding a selection of new technologies to our Channel portfolio, supported by a reworked training scheme and a new rebate structure, and we intend to do a better job of spreading the word about what we are doing to support our partners. Our channel team is just putting the finish touches to our enhanced program, so watch this space!
*Source: Canalys, Candefero surveys, September and October 2017