The announcement last week of Acer's Solution Partner (ASP) program signalled the final stage in a channel restructuring program that has seen Acer rationalise its direct resellers and create the Acer Premium Club 2000.
According to Greg Mikaelian, national channel manager for Acer, the ASP program will provide "the existing dealer network with better marketing support. We have always had a lot of loyal second-tier resellers but we didn't know who they were or what they contributed to Acer."
Specifically, the ASP program will support resellers through its online publication, Acer Connect Weekly; direct access to Acer corporate, product and pricing information through an ASP-dedicated Web site; free access to sales and marketing courses conducted by Acer's training facility, Acer IT Academy; support from Acer's business development managers to grasp key business opportunities; and product support through the Acer Demo Voucher program.
"Acer will help its partners roll out strong branding campaigns but none of this matters if we don't educate and train our resellers about Acer products and procedures," said Mikaelian.
He explained there are loose criteria resellers must meet in order to qualify for the program. "Acer distributors will recommend resellers join the ASP program. There is a fairly minimal revenue criterion, resellers must provide a niche product or service, and they should have some regional coverage."
However, Mikaelian doesn't perceive any of these guidelines as detrimental to Acer's goal of recruiting 250 "quality resellers in the next six to nine months".
This invigorated reseller network will focus specifically on the small and medium business market, facilitated by an Acer distributor campaign called the Small Business Solution strategy. "Acer has designed a couple of bundled servers, desktops and mobile solutions for this market," said Mikaelian.