Samsung Makes a Play in the Commercial ChannelBy Scott Ferguson | Print
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More known for its retail business, Samsung is using new, high-end offerings and a revamped channel approach to entice enterprise and midmarket customers.
Samsung has always been known for its high-tech, high-end offerings for the consumer market.
That is about to change.
The Irvine, Calif., vendor has begun paying closer attention to the commercial channel. At the IT ChannelVision conference in Phoenix, Samsung staked out a prime spot of the showroom floor to show off its latest wares, which included the Q1 Ultra Mobile PC and the next generation of LCD monitors that the company is packaging as a complete digital signage solution.
"We've been a little inconsistent, but we have always thought of ourselves as a channel-centric company," Richard Hutton, senior channel marketing manager for Samsung, told Channel Insider at the event. "We want to start coming to more events like this. We want to start to move forward in the commercial channel."
Samsung is looking to capture midmarket and enterprise space with its technology.
While the company does sell its digital signage as a complete solution, Hutton said VARs can add value when selling the LCD monitors to enterprises such as casinos and airports. Those businesses need highly specialized software solutions to fit their needs, and the company's solution providers are the ones to add that value to product.
Dan Schwab, vice president of marketing for D&H Distributing, based in Harrisburg, Pa., said digital signage and advertising has become a much more affordable option for customers in the past two years. Once used primarily in casinos and airports, doctors' offices, retail stores and other SMBs (small and midsize businesses) have begun to ask their VARs about the technology.
"A lot of customers have started asking their VARs: This is what they want to do and what I should get," Schwab said, referring to digital signage.
Schwab's company, which distributes Samsung products, has made begun to increase its presence in the commercial channel, while still maintaining its traditionally strong retail channel, he said.
Customers have responded to Samsung's displays, especially the heightened resolution that the company has begun to offer in its monitors, Schwab said.
"What we have to do is offer a unique solution that our customers cannot get in traditional bundles," Jason Redmond, manager of marketing communications for Samsung, said at the conference.
Hutton said that Samsung is also looking at revamping its Power Partner Program by the first quarter of 2007. It will then provide enhanced training and offer some new incentives.
"We want to be a one hundred percent channel company," Hutton said. "We absolutely need solution providers to sell our product."