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Samsung creates a tier-3 channel model for its Windows 8 line up

Company intends to use direct sales force to create demand for solution providers in the market place

New York – Most vendors traditionally go-to-market using the tier-2 channel method utilizing distributors and solution providers. Samsung, during its Windows 8 launch at the New Museum, will also use this method, but with a twist.

Tod Pike, senior vice president of Samsung Enterprise, told CDN that the company will be implementing a tier-3 model that will rely heavily on its own direct sales force.

Under this system, Samsung’s direct sales force will be tasked to create demand in the market place. Pike added that the Samsung direct sales force will also educate customers on the potential of technology and funnel those opportunities down to the solution provider channel.

For example, the Memphis City School District installed large format displays as digital blackboards and offered its students tablet computers and wireless printing recently as part of a pilot project with Samsung.

Samsung created a software program called Smart School Software that integrates all the technology together in a K-12 environment.

Pike said that the direct sales force showed the Memphis City School District what it could do with Samsung technology. After the school district was sold on the technology the direct sales force would then find the appropriate solution providers to work with the school.

Pike said that this tier-3 approach in no way would compromise Samsung’s 100 per cent channel friendly go-to-market strategy.

“We do not sell direct. We are happy with the partner model and how it’s evolved,” Pike said.

With the release of its Windows 8 line up of products, the South Korean-based manufacturer wants to address two areas of the enterprise market. The first area is on the consumerization of IT trend. Samsung is taking a vertical market app-based approach in an interoperable way. The company intends make all products work seamlessly which will reduce costs for customers, Pike said.

The direct sales force will be targeting markets such as the Federal Government, Fortune 500 companies, education, healthcare, retail and hospitality, he added.

Pike, citing a Gartner Group 2012 CIO survey, said that 61 per cent of enterprises will be empowered by the mobile capability in the next three years.

The second area is more retail business focused working with channel partners.

For example, Moc1 Solutions from Glendora, Calif., has developed slate-computing solutions for the auto dealer market whereby customers no longer have to stand in line to have their cars serviced. Car dealer service workers will go up to customers with a Samsung tablet to figure out what they need.

“Samsung here with its partner is trying to change the experience for the customer and not have them standing in line behind a counter with a PC,” Pike said.

Another Samsung partner SVR 40 is working with Build-a-Bear Workshop, a retailer that allows children to create their own teddy bears, to develop a tablet solution that enables children to build a personalized teddy bear while at the store. In certain pilots, Pike said that customers purchased more products, stayed longer in the store and made frequent returns.

Jean-Paul Desmarais, marketing manager for Samsung Canada’s IT Solutions Business, said that the same approach will be implemented in the Canadian market.

“We have business apps for markets such as automotive and healthcare, but we’ve found that even the apps for lets say cooking, which were designed for consumer, will work in a business environment,” Desmarais said.

Samsung Enterprise unit offers products from mobile computers, desktop monitors, large format displays, printers and medical products.

Samsung is working with distribution partners such as Ingram Micro, Tech Data, D&H and Synnex. Pike said Samsung plans to grow its channel base through traditional VARs, direct market resellers as well as Pro-AV VARs.