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Samsung Expands Alliance Program: Not 'Hardware-Only'

By James Anderson
January 11, 2017 - News
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**Editor's Note: Click here for a list of recent important channel-program changes you should know.**

Samsung says the expansion of its Alliance Program will improve margins for its channel partners.

Samsung's Jim HeesackerThe electronics company – which has been trying to show the channel that it is more than just a hardware vendor – is rolling out new benefits for its independent software vendors (ISVs) and adding technology partners and system integrators to the program.  

“We’re continuing to court ISVs because we believe they’re critical to IoT and digital transformation, but we’re also bringing into the fold the major technology partners and system integrators," said Jim Heesacker, vice president of strategic alliances for Samsung Business.

The Samsung Alliance Program currently includes more than 300 ISVs, which are connected to Samsung products, support, direct and indirect sales teams, and now the two new types of alliance partners. Heesacker said the expansion of the program will help add depth to customer interactions and how customers view Samsung.

“I think it positions us extremely well to have deeper, broader conversations with customers as they walk through the customer journey," he said. “If I go in and someone recognizes Samsung as just being a hardware OEM, it really is limiting in nature to the conversation. It really does a disservice to the capability that Samsung brings to the table for an enterprise customer and that leadership that we can bring."

He said the expansion also changes the game for how channel partners view Samsung. He said many of them currently shy away from the company because they believe it is “hardware-only" and therefore a risky source of margins.

“We’ve become much more attractive from a margins perspective for channel partners because it’s not just going to be a pure hardware play," he said.

Heesacker said Samsung will choose the new technology partners and systems integrators for their credibility and technical expertise. He said the components of technical expertise include having a cloud platform, a mobile ecosystem and channel partners. He also said the new partners must strategically fit into the verticals and markets Samsung is trying to tackle.

“What I’ve seen is there [are] a lot of handshakes being done between two big-name brands without any clear vision as to what they’re trying to accomplish. We don’t want to get into that game," he said.

Infusion, an engineering and consulting company that is partnering with Samsung, said its collaboration will use Samsung’s Knox security solution to empower end users.

“By combining Samsung technology with our expertise in digital strategy, experience design and software engineering, we help companies across a wide range of industries, from financial services to retail to consumer goods, develop customized solutions that achieve specific business outcomes," said Peter Rivera, chief experience officer at Infusion. “We look forward to continuing to drive innovation with Samsung on next-generation digital solutions that re-define customer experiences and business mobility."

Changes to the Alliance Program include new benefits for ISVs, such as faster access to Samsung’s R&D, marketing and sales resources. The ISVs also now have access to a partner information portal to find marketing and security training support.

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