Meet the channel manager: Huawei

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This article appeared in the March 2015 issue of CRN magazine.

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Meet the channel manager: Huawei
Leo Lynch

Leo Lynch joined Chinese vendor Huawei as enterprise channel director in January, having departed IBM’s partner business. In his first few weeks at Huawei, Lynch appointed Synnex and iCITA as new distributors to replace DNA Connect.

Journey

“I’ve been in the IT industry for 25 years, and for all of those years I’ve worked in the channel. One of my first jobs was to setup distribution for HP. After taking a redundancy at HP, I went over to EMC and revamped their channel. At the end of 2011, I moved over to IBM and was given an opportunity to manage a large team – 10 people across ANZ. 

“The wonderful thing about the new Huawei job is that I get take all of that channel experience and apply it to a fresh, blank piece of paper. Huawei has given me the leverage to appoint my own team and asked what resources I need – so I’ve used the first seven weeks to put together a channel strategy plan.”

Partners

“We now have about 20 partners across Australia. We had one significant partner, Dave Stevens [of Brennan IT], mention in CRN magazine last month the three strategic vendors to him were HP, Microsoft and Huawei. That was really the first time anyone endorsed us like that. I was really proud.

“Dave invested a lot of time and energy in Huawei. Brennan IT flew their pre-sales people to come to our headquarters at Shenzhen, to visit our Enterprise Experience Centre. We gave them some equipment and they bought some equipment. Brennan invested half a million dollars of their own money, tried and tested the gear, and said ‘You know what, this stuff is pretty good. We’re going to throw out our other gear and use Huawei in our data centre.’ I can tell you lots of things but that’s a really good example and something we’d like to emulate.”

Program

“It’s very early days. Today what I have been able to put in place are a special pricing process, a deal registration process, pre-sales support, and a registration and certification program. But I want to do a lot more. We do have rebates for our very large partners, MDF and promotions – and now that we have two disties on board, we’d like to scale all that out.”

Events and awards

“Last June and July, we had an enterprise roadshow for a mixture of our customers and partners. This year, we’ll actually do a roadshow with one of our distributors, so watch this space. It’ll feature products, of course, but also our [channel] program and how our partners can become more involved.

“For us to become strategic with our partner community, we need to give [our partners] more touch points with us, and more revenue streams. We have a very wide and deep product range with lots of different areas for partners to sell. But we also want them to support and service that hardware, which is an addition revenue stream over the life cycle of that product.”

Lessons learned

“The number one thing is consistency. If we say we’re going to do something, then we need to stick to the way we said we’d do it. Partners have enough to worry about without having to also be anxious about inconsistent and unpredictable vendors.”

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