The new program offers unified assets and benefits across product groups.
Samsung Electronics America is consolidating the distinct partner programs of its mobile, display and SSD businesses under a common umbrella.
The Ascend Partner Program, launched today, replaces the longstanding Samsung Team of Empowered Program (STEP). Samsung’s new Ascend program aims to incentivize and make it easier for partners to attach products in solutions that come from different commercial and enterprise product groups, notably displays and mobile devices.
Samsung is hoping to leverage its popular consumer brand and powerful marketing capabilities with a more unified business-to-business go-to-market effort, a move which also promises more upside for the company’s B2B partners. Increasingly, B2B has become a larger percentage of Samsung’s overall revenues. The revenue shift has translated to a greater emphasis on R&D for more B2B products.
“We can deliver even better solutions that are really solving business problems for our customers, both here in the U.S. and abroad,” said Michael Coleman, vice president of Samsung America’s B2B mobile channel, during a press briefing to outline the new Ascend partner program. Combining the programs shows a renewed awareness that B2B will become a key driver of growth for Samsung, according to industry analyst Maribel Lopez of Lopez Research.
“It shows Samsung recognizes that the channel is the only way to effectively scale growth,” Lopez told Channel Futures. “Samsung’s a big company and it’s important that it unifies its products under one sales umbrella. The strategy shows that they have thought through providing both access to information and channel incentives. It’s no longer enough to build quality products, it’s crucial that Samsung develops a strong channel.”
Samsung is betting that its newly launched Ascent partner portal, under development for nearly a year and based on ZiftOne from Zift Solutions, will play a key role in delivering improved access to information on sales programs, marketing collateral, incentives, training resources and technical assets. “This Ascend portal is a the culmination of our attempt to bring both teams together from display [and] mobile to make it simple to access new information and to really help you, and you help us, in terms of the growth that we both need to generate,” Coleman said.
“We wanted to create a one-stop shop — a portal that links all of our B2B assets in one program and to drive both mobile and channel partners into the same portal” added Chris Mertens, vice president of sales for Samsung’s display division. Mertens emphasized the fact that partners who carry both Samsung’s mobility and display products won’t need to go through separate portals. “It’s the same business portal to enable [partners] to have access to all of the [same] processes and the data.”
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