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Acer local channel boss flags changes to its strategy

Acer local channel boss flags changes to its strategy

Greg Mikaelian shares his plans for the Australian channel

Greg Mikaelian (Acer)

Greg Mikaelian (Acer)

Credit: Christine Wong

Four months after returning to run Acer's channel in Australia, Greg Mikaelian has flagged changes to its channel program and what lies ahead for Australian partners.

Changes to the current program are critical along with giving distributors a proper channel ecosystem, Mikaelian told ARN.

Currently, Acer counts on Bluechip Infotech, Ingram Micro and Synnex as its distributors, with the vendor in talks with other distributors, seeking re-engagement.

"We need to assist our distributors. We need to give them a proper channel ecosystem, channel programs and tools, lead generation programs, a better branding experience for the dealers, incentives and promotions," he said.

Mikaelian told ARN that he has been looking at how he can re-establish the vendor's go-to-market strategy in a "much bigger" way.

"The channel program is a starting point. I do aim to launch something new early next year. It is currently in the works. We are also currently discussing with existing partners, looking at the competitive landscape, getting feedback, getting ideas.

"And it is not about launching a new program is about how it differentiates from other programs. It needs to be different and a key strategy for us to re-engage the channel and get our market share back," Mikaelian explained.

He stated three mains reasons for his return: the pace of the notebooks industry which is much faster than the printing business; changes under the new management and an improvement in the vendor's servicing model.

"I like the industry, the pace, dynamics of it," Mikaelian told ARN. "The opportunity came up, and with the changes here at Acer and the channel area, the business has transformed a lot since I left eight years ago. The channel is an area where there is a lot of opportunity today."

He previously worked for the hardware vendor for 13 years between 1997 and 2010. He left in July 2010 when he was general manager for channel sales Australia.

"I've seen Acer take a leap forward in areas where it was lagging behind in terms of R&D and product development, with fresh and exciting products coming out. The company has also seen significant growth under the new leadership," he adedd.

From a product development perspective there is so much opportunity, Mikaelian said.

"Also there has been a big change in the company's servicing model. It has transformed into a much more effective and efficient model. And I thought it was a great opportunity to come back."

Acer counts on over 4,000 partners with a select group taking care of the company's education deals.

During his first stint at Acer, Mikaelian helped with the design and build of a $600 million multi-tiered channel based vendor business, according to his LinkedIn profile - he was in charge of up to three managers, 12 direct staff and more than 50 indirect staff.

In January 2011, after briefly joining MSI Corporate, he joined Oki Data A/NZ where he spent the last seven years. Mikaelian helped the printing vendor launch the Channel One Incentive and Rewards program in 2014.

After serving as OKI Data's regional sales manager across Oceania he returned to Acer in June as the general manager of channels and marketing.



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