“The sales people and engineers are already talking about who will team up with who next year,” according to Accucom owner, Sam Sarkis. As one of the winners of the Arrow APEX channel program for 2018, Accucom found success by partnering its sales and engineer staff, and then encouraging productive, friendly competition between them.
Gamification is a powerful tool when the rewards are exciting enough, and Arrow APEX has proven highly successful at providing incentives both to business owners and their teams.
“Everybody was tracking how they were doing, and the program really brought out a positive competitive streak,” Sarkis said. “They wanted to win, we wanted to win, and everybody in the organisation was happy with how it turned out.”
According to Sarkis, the principle benefits the team derived from the Arrow APEX program were:
1) It helped to get teams comprehensively accredited. Accreditation is something every channel organisation is aware of, but getting it can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Sarkis said membership in the program helped to accelerate the process.
2) Taking part helped the Accucom team focus its energy on the most important vendors and opportunities. “We sell a lot of products here, but the program helped our teams focus on companies like Aruba and HP solutions,” Sarkis said.
3) Extended credit terms which helped the teams at Accucom secure large deals and maintain the company’s cash flow. For smaller channel businesses, cash flow and financial resourcing are an on-going pain point, so any program that helps ease that burden is a real boon.
And there are benefits for the customer, as well. “Customers got access to world-leading solutions. In many cases they were looking to make these kinds of purchases anyway, but the program helped expedite those purchases and, in doing so, we were able to uncover some opportunities to enhance their businesses that we didn’t know were available. That is all because of the deeper engagement opportunities the program enables,” Sarkis said.
For TeleApps founder & CEO, Sreeni Raghavan, the principle benefit of the Arrow APEX program is that the above elements have come together to significantly fast-track the company’s growth plans
“Everything that has happened through the program would have been difficult otherwise,” he said. “The certification, the movement up the reseller value chain for the vendor, and the marketing initiatives that we’ve been able to take… we may have been able to achieve them over the next two or three years, but there’s a lot of hard work involved, and it was the assistance of Arrow that helped us to push through it,” Raghavan said.
An example of how the APEX program has been able to fast-track the development of TeleApps’ Aruba business is the way it incentivised and gamified the certification process. The APEX program encouraged TeleApps staff to gain certification more quickly, and then maintain the highest standards of industry expertise. As one of the annual winners, two of the TeleApps team are taking a trip to Singapore, which includes a tour of HP’s regional facilities (to gain further expertise back home), and tickets to the F1 Grand Prix during their trip.
“We’ve been working with Arrow for the last two-and-a-half years and, in that time, it has been both proactive and a valuable strategic partner to us,” Raghavan said. “It was Arrow that noticed we were building our Aruba business, and recommended the APEX program as something that we would benefit from.
“That level of proactive engagement, and the benefits that we’ve seen immediately… I don’t see any other distributor doing this.”
The Arrow APEX program is now in its 2nd year. In that time, it has served more than 100 training courses and certifications per year. The 2017 program won the Innovation Award at the 2018 Australian Business Awards.
Arrow will again run the APEX program in 2019, click here to register your interest.
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