Motorola Unveils PartnerEmpower Program

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print

Under the unified effort, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Systems ISVs and partners will have a common framework for identifying market opportunities, earning incentives and benefits, building sustainable business practices. The goal: Expand market share and build the health of the Motorola channel community.

Motorola will be getting increasingly aggressive in expanding market share through partners through its new channel program – Motorola PartnerEmpower – a new effort to bring the full breadth of the company’s enterprise mobility and communications products to market and open new opportunities for independent software vendors (ISVs) and resellers.

PartnerEmpower is essentially the next phase in the consolidation of Motorola’s network wireless, radio and mobility platform businesses. In 2008, Motorola formed Enterprise Mobility Systems that essentially combined the offerings of Symbol and Motorola’s enterprise businesses under one roof. Last year, Motorola integrated its government business into the consolidated framework.

What’s been missing to this point is a common global channel framework that provides partners with a clear path to identifying solutions, building sales and support practices, and bringing products to market. The lack of commonality has exposed gaps in Motorola’s market share penetration and coverage, particularly outside the retail and transportation verticals.

Over the next 18 months, Motorola will introduce a series of tools, education programs, competency programs and certifications, and customer satisfaction measure to incent partners throughout its value chain to invest in new products, go to market with holistically designed solutions and tackle new market opportunities that result in a net increase in Motorola and partner market share.

The long implementation period is designed to give Motorola partners time to adjust their operations and business practices for the program’s new requirements. Janet Schijns, vice president of global channels, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions, explains that all partners will be grandfathered into their current entitlement levels – platinum, gold, silver, bronze – but will have to achieve certain milestones and "points" to earn their status going forward.

"The key is the focus," says Schijns. We don’t want partners to take their eye off the ball, so we want to add the capabilities and tools, and give partners time to migrate into the program so we don’t disrupt their businesses."

Additionally, Motorola is making substantial investments in connecting its resellers for peer-to-peer partnering to expand and enhance their capabilities, partner relationship management and demand generation activities. Investments in technology competency training and resources alone are being tripled, Schijns said.

Overcoming capability limitations is one of the challenges Motorola is looking to tackle with PartnerEmpower. The expense of developing and maintaining teams with advanced technical skills is often too expensive for partners to bear on their own. Motorola’s new social networking and collaboration efforts will provide resellers with the ability to find one another and team on complex and large engagements.

"Partner-to-partner is the only way to go to market because it simply doesn’t make sense to go out and hire thousands of direct salespeople," says Mark Kroh, vice president of North America channels, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions.

Schijns believes the combined effort of adding competencies and enabling partners to build practices around vertically oriented solutions will provide Motorola resellers with a higher value proposition, faster paths to market and sustained profitability. Consequently, Motorola will gain by having coverage gaps filled and expanded market share.


Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.