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Samsung Electronics America (SEA) has expanded its alliance program to include technology platform partners and system integrators to improve its delivery of vertical-specific mobility solutions. The company also expanded the benefits for independent software vendor (ISV) partners, which now include earlier access to new product launches and new technologies.

Under the alliance, Samsung and its partners—ISVs, SIs, technology platform vendors and channel partners—deliver custom mobility solutions that can leverage technologies such as the cloud, data analytics and the internet of things (IoT). By working together, the partners can improve time to market, deliver bundled solutions and ease procurement through the reseller channel.

“As you have conversations with customers and channel partners, you start to realize there are some opportunities where leadership needs to be provided in order to help continue to drive mobility and mobile strategy in the enterprise space,” said Jim Heesacker, vice president of strategic alliances, Samsung. “Over the past 12 to 24 months, you’ve seen the emergence of IoT, digital transformation and a number of other trends. It requires a lot of parties to stop working independent of each other and to start working together to deliver seamless solutions to the enterprise.”

“It’s not a one size fits all game,” he added. “There is a level of customization that is required.”

Heesacker explained that it often requires the expertise from Samsung, a solution or platform provider, and a channel partner to simplify procurement by offering the hardware and software “stitched together” as a single solution for a customer. The company relies heavily on its channel partners that can sell cloud services, hardware and Samsung’s Knox mobile security platform, along with providing additional services such as installation and warranty work.

“They will act as the procurement point for a lot of our customers,” Heesacker added. “This is where ease of installation, ease of procurement, ease of support … start to unfold.”

Improvements to the Samsung Alliance Program

Three or four years ago, Samsung focused on off-the-shelf devices with mass scale and appeal that were easy to install and consume. But as customers started to take advantage of new technologies, a level of complexity came into play, and dependencies on partners started to take shape in order to deliver on customer requirements, Heesacker said.

The Samsung Alliance Program now consists of more than 300 ISVs, which have access to Samsung’s products, R&D, channel and direct sales team. One of the biggest improvements for ISV partners is the early access to new product launches.

The alliance program also now includes SIs and large technology platform vendors, including providers that offer cloud and mobility offerings, as well as developer platforms. The addition of the new providers enables more partners to work together to deliver single mobility solutions to end customers across a variety of vertical segments, including hospitality, finance, health care, retail, education, transportation and the federal government.

Samsung works with customers from design and planning phases through procurement and implementation to running the technology in their own environments, which means there are partners throughout the cycle that will be able to bring their expertise and services to the table. In the case of a channel partner who’s a reseller or a distributor, this could mean bundling the solution—hardware, software and services—under a single SKU at a single price point.

“A lot of times, for example, we’ll have a partner come to us and say they have a real challenge with security and need some assistance,” Heesacker said. “We’re pretty well-versed on our partner capabilities and on being able to pull in the right partners.

“We’ll bring them into the conversation and do some mapping of the requirements to make sure the partner is able to address the specific questions, and then deliver that to the customer. We’re helping make those recommendations.”

“Through the alliance program,” Heesacker explained, “we’re not interested in just a one-time interaction. We want to have an ongoing relationship with these partners.”