Emerson has made a massive new commitment to the channel, promising to better engage with partners and protect them from its direct business.
The vendor has overhauled its channel structure, splitting the previous channel manager role into two. Moving forward, channel newcomer (but Emerson veteran), Daniel Sargent, will be the national partner manager, responsible for the NSP (network solutions partner) tier of the new structure.
Alan Smith, the previous channel manager, is currently handling the newly created national distribution manager role. Smith has been promoted to a more regional role, and Emerson is looking to appoint a new external person to that position. The national distribution manager will look after the vendor’s run-rate business with the lower tiers of partners as well as the distribution business.
The new program is selective, especially at the NSP level, and partners will need to be accredited on a yearly basis.
Emerson currently has 21 partners at this level, and is looking to recruit up to 40 over the next two years.
Sargent claimed the exclusivity is deliberate, and aimed at building the NSP tier as a brand with a great deal of benefits for partners that qualify.
“We are providing training and marketing resources, as well as the backing of our technical staff,” he said. “Over the next three years, we’re looking at 200 per cent growth in this space.”
In the past, Emerson partners have had to contend with the substantial direct business the vendor has run. Under the new program, Sargent promised partners they would be protected, and the company has had a dramatic shift in attitude to facilitate better partner relationships.
“Emerson’s #1 priority is now in channel investment,” he said. “Our business in the 2-30 rack space is not highly developed, and with the likes of virtualisation there will be a bigger market for that than ever.”
Emerson’s internal sales staff are now being provided with incentives to engage with partners. There is a mandate within the organisation that lead generation will go to the channel, unless the product cannot be fulfilled through distribution. There is now account protection in place.
“We’re going to do everything in out power to match leads between companies together,” Sargent said. “It’s a fundamental mindset change within our organisation.”