Samsung Looks to Mobilize Partners
Samsung has been in the news of late for all the wrong reasons. But following the launch of 2-in-1 PCs at the Mobile World Congress 2017 conference and an expected announcement of a Samsung 8 smartphone to replace the Samsung 7 smartphone that has an unfortunate tendency to explode, Samsung is looking to the channel to put some shine back on its tarnished image.
Kevin Gilroy, executive vice president and head of Samsung Business, said now is the time for channel partners to become more relevant to both Samsung and their customers. He said that rather than focusing solely on product speeds and feeds, Samsung is looking for partners that can help teach customers how to mobilize a raft of business processes across a broad range of vertical industries.
To facilitate those transformations, Samsung developed a Samsung Flow tool that makes it simpler to transfer data and files between its Windows 10 notebooks and any device running its distribution of Android.
Gilroy said that, in general, partners can still make a fair amount of margin reselling Samsung smartphones. He reported that partners' gross margins on smartphones are in the mid- to high-teens.
However, Gilroy said the biggest financial rewards start to kick in when partners attach smartwatches and other peripherals to the smartphone. Couple that with the services revenue that's generated by helping customers craft mobile solutions, and the opportunity to turn a profit is substantial.
In addition, Gilroy notes that the complexity surrounding the building of mobile solutions means that more organizations are looking for external expertise to help them apply the technology. In the war for customers and talent, many organizations are looking for expertise to help them employ mobile technologies to attract both as they look to implement various digital business strategies.
Gilroy said Samsung has made substantial investments in new managers in various parts of the business who have channel experience. In addition, the company has hired new salespeople who know how to sell in partnership with the channel.
The most immediate issue, of course, is going to be getting customers to consider Samsung as a viable alternative to Apple. Samsung has a storied brand, so that may not be as uphill a battle as many partners might initially think—especially when considered against the high failure rate of Apple iPhone 6 smartphones.
But, as Gilroy points out, it's the partners that lean in now that are likely to gain the lion's share of the profit to be made as usage of mobile computing continues to mature across small and large businesses alike.
Mike Vizard, a Channel Insider contributor, has more than 25 years of experience covering IT issues in a career that includes serving as director of strategic content and editorial director for Ziff Davis Enterprise.