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Staying relevant to the channel in the face of Disruption

There’s one thing that we can be absolutely certain of over the next few years, and that is the ongoing disruption in the industry will continue as companies of all sizes leverage new technology tools to solve their business challenges. This presents more opportunities than ever for the channel to help them but at the same time drives disruption in the channel itself. Not only do partners have to gain expertise in new areas of technology, but they also need to change the way they sell.

And ultimately, channel partners want to take greater control over their own destiny by creating their own IP. This is why, when I joined Fujitsu in 2015 I said that “relevance” was the most important thing for Fujitsu to focus on in the channel. We need to ensure that the portfolio and support we provide our partners is the right fit at the right time – one that allows them to expand their own offerings and capabilities in line with customer demands.

To make sure that our SELECT Partner Program continues to be relevant, we spend a great deal of time listening to feedback from our partners, to understand what types of different technologies they want to offer and the level of support from us they need to help them succeed. We heard that our partners are keen to be able to offer new technologies, from anything as-a-service and fast-moving technologies such as cloud, to solutions that leverage the capabilities of Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. And, as selling these complex solutions requires a different approach to delivering individual products, they also asked for help understanding customers’ changing digitalization needs and how to meet them.

We’ve just launched our 2018 SELECT Partner Program – packed with enhancements to fulfil our partners desire to sell a broader range of products and services and to make it easier than ever for them to be successful. Those already selling our market-leading PRIMEFLEX Integrated Systems will find that the new NFlex converged infrastructure from Fujitsu and NetApp enables them to easily create virtualized environments for their customers. Partners also have access to Fujitsu’s fully integrated Digital Workplace solutions including the lightest Ultra notebook on the market and tools that allow businesses to provide access to applications from anywhere on any device.

In addition, to help businesses address the growing challenge of cybercrime, Fujitsu’s security as a service offering is now also available as part of the SELECT portfolio. Partners will also have the option of developing solutions for customers based on Fujitsu’s advanced biometric PalmSecure products – enabling them to implement palm vein scanners to manage access from anything from devices to buildings. We are also laying the foundations for partners to implement advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, managed cloud services and IoT solutions. We’ll be opening up opportunities for partners to sell our INTELLIEDGE appliance, designed to help harness the value of data being created by sensors and other IoT devices.

We recognize that some of our partners have specialist skills already – including the consultancies, service providers and value added partners in the fields of AI or IoT. We’ve also enhanced our SELECT Circle track to more effectively meet their needs – we’re essentially creating communities around these emerging technologies and supporting our SELECT Circle members with bespoke training programs (TechCommunity and customized trainings based on channel business plans). We’ve also added an Infinity level of partnership to meet the specific needs of large pan-EMEIA resellers – these partners will benefit from unrivalled access to our entire portfolio and will now be able to more seamlessly operate across the whole EMEIA region.

For those new to these technologies, the new solutions require specialist knowledge and a different approach to sales – as customers are looking to solve business issues, rather than addressing IT challenges. We’re tackling this by not only extending the training we offer but also simplifying the Expert level accreditation process. Our partners already have access to the same training as our staff – to allow them to understand our solutions inside and out, from pre-sales to implementation.

But selling solutions that help customers on their digital transformation journeys requires more than just technical training. It requires a completely different approach – so we also work with our partners to ensure that they are well placed to become trusted advisors for their customers. We’ve also added courses that ensure that they can prepare their financial systems to handle managed services and pay-per-use payment models.

We don’t want anything to stand in the way of our partners closing deals – so we’re also investing a significant amount into enhancing the tools that support them – putting the information they need at their fingertips from real-time product information and stock availability to an e-procurement tool. We’re also implementing a 24/7 chat function to enable them to get immediate answers to any commercial or technical questions they might have.

The industry is moving rapidly as businesses seek out new ways to create advantage and to leverage disruption. And our partners are stepping up and are ready to help them. And we’re with them at every step of the way co-creating the future with them.

To find out more about the 2018 SELECT Partner Program – click HERE.

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