NEC radically changes channel program

NEC Australia planning to more than triple its indirect sales ratio in the long term

NEC Australia has announced a replacement unified communications channel partner program and plans to more than triple its indirect sales ratio.

All 138 existing NEC partners will be moved into one of four new accreditation categories: Affiliate, Advanced, Prestige or Elite. Affiliate is the lowest level while Elite is the highest. The move will not cost partners any extra fees.

“We will invite the partners to nominate which groups they want to be a part of because there’s a different resource commitment they need to make depending on where they want to be,” NEC Australia general manager for private sector, Bob Lanigan, said.

“The old system was structured on the volume of sales. With the new accreditation, you can be an Affiliate partner, have a sales capability but you may not have a delivery mechanism.

“At the elite level, you would see that sales capability, the professional service capability as well as the maintenance capability so it’s a different type of organisation.”

Lanigan does not expect the program to be universally accepted, but said it will boost the brand’s status and customer satisfaction.

“I think what we’ll see is some partners will choose not to be a part of the program,” he said. “As we develop this program I think it will attract other partners that want to join the NEC family.

“Longer term the reality is that we will keep the partner program to around 140 to 150 partners.”

Lanigan claimed the dramatic change reflected a need for partners to have a holistic understanding of their customer’s business visions.

“We’ve got to take the traditional technology type sales people and turn them into business orientated sales people that understand more the business outcomes of their customers and then be able to support them,” he said.

Lanigan is aiming for a dramatic increase in partner sales with the roll-out of the new program.

“Our partner community currently contributes about 15 to 16 per cent of our overall sales. We are targeting, in the mid-term, an increase of around about 20 per cent in the first 18 months of the program being implemented with a view over time for our channel community to be delivering around 50 per cent of our platform and solutions revenues."