Samsung Previews Marketing, Education Changes to STEP Program

Samsung Previews Marketing, Education Changes to STEP Program

Samsung's Richard Hutton previewed several upcoming changes to the company's STEP partner program during the 9th annual Samsung Partner Summit in San Antonio, Texas.

Samsung Electronics kicked off its 9th annual Partner Summit last week in San Antonio Texas, and the company used the opportunity to unveil several additions to its Samsung Team of Empowered Partners (STEP) program.

The latest editions to Samsung’s partner offering are centered around building sales and marketing expertise, as well as providing resellers with the opportunity to leverage new professional services training, according to the company.

Samsung partners will soon have access to Samsung’s new Marketing Concierge Service, which will provide both regional and national solution providers with the ability to create “meaningful management campaigns,” according to Samsung’s Director of Channel Marketing Richard Hutton.  National solution providers will have access to content marketing advice and social selling strategies via Channel Maven Consulting, while regional solution providers and system integrators will receive marketing advice via Zift Solutions, according to Hutton.

“This is really about demand generation,” said Hutton in an interview with The VAR Guy. “This is about holding Samsung accountable for delivering qualified leads to the channel marketplace and enabling our partners to go out and amplify our message and build business opportunities in their market with the tools that we’re bringing to bear.”

Hutton also outlined the new Samsung Business Academy, a new training and certification program designed to improve partner understanding and expertise in the company’s B2B portfolio. Samsung will track partner participation within the Business Academy portal to place partners into tiers within the STEP program, according to the announcement.

Samsung said each of this year’s program additions are centered around the company’s philosophy of promoting greater demand generation, improving partner education, creating simplified platforms and, of course, increasing partner margins.

The Marketing Concierge Services are expected to become available sometime in Q1 2016, according to Hutton. The Samsung Business Academy, meanwhile is scheduled to launch “within the first half of 2016” as part of the existing web-based STEP portal. Mobile support is expected to launch during the second half of the year, although a specific window was not discussed.

“We’re a channel company so we need to enable our channel partners to drive demand,” said Hutton. “We don’t view them as a fulfillment engine, we view them as a demand generation engine for us.”

Back in November, Samsung added its Wireless Enterprise reseller community to the STEP program, in an effort to provide its wireless partners with easier access to WLAN solutions and products.

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