Symbol scraps direct sales for channel model

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Mobility gear vendor Symbol Technologies has scrapped its direct sales model, canvassing for more distributors and introducing a partner program for Asia-Pacific resellers.

Kurt Hansen, GM for Symbol in the Asia-Pacific, said the US vendor had relied mainly on direct sales but was moving towards an 100 percent indirect, channel-focused model based around its global PartnerSelect program.

In Australia, Symbol had niche Melbourne distributor Warp on its books and worked here with global partner IBM but wanted to sign an indefinite number of other distributors, he said.
'What we are going to do is put all our business through distribution,' Hansen said. 'We have [previously] always had a percentage of our business that was done direct and direct to VARs.'

Mike Seekamp, channel manager for Symbol in the Asia-Pacific, said the aim was to take more market share in the burgeoning mobile and wireless space.

Seekamp said that the maker of laser bar code scanners, imagers and kiosks, RFID, handheld computing devices, PDAs and wireless infrastructure such as switches, access points and bridges was deploying a two-track, two-tier partner structure.

'There will be a Solution Partner track, and a Business Partner track. It's really aimed at helping our partners and helping us to target resources,' he said.

Interested resellers could apply online to be considered for the program, which would also take in VARs, integrators, consultancies, ISVs and other miscellaneous types of IT providers, he said.

ERP software suppliers and POS system providers were good examples of likely candidates, Seekamp said.

Hansen said partners would be assessed in terms of their certifications, potential contribution to Symbol's business here, customer service for break-fix and hardware issues and professional services offering.

The company wanted to target specific verticals, such as healthcare, and SMBs as well as large organisations, he said.

'There's a check list [for resellers],' Hansen said.

Seekamp said that Symbol promised market development funds and other types of concrete assistance for resellers in return.

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