In a candid interaction with DQ Channels, Ramya Chatterjee, Director – Sales (Visualization & Entertainment), Barco India has talked about Barco’s channel strategies, channel programs and channel roadmaps for 2019.
What are the key strategies that Barco India has designed to empower the channel community for achieving your business objectives?
Barco has businesses across entertainment, enterprise and healthcare verticals. Each of these has a defined & dedicated go-to-market strategy and thereby calling for differentiated channel engagement. For example: In the enterprise vertical, for Operator Experience (OX) & Virtual Experience (VX) business, we work through system integrators (SI), while a 2-tier strategy (some time 3-tier as well) with distributor and resellers is in place for the Meeting Experience (MX) Business. In Entertainment Vertical also we generally follow a 2-tier GTM strategy.
It is very crucial for a partner to understand the real pain of the customer & position the right set of product/solution to address the customer’s pain. That’s only possible if the partner community is well trained on the products & technology. We understand the importance of it and therefore, constantly endeavor at investing heavily in their training and development.
We also give a lot of importance on consistent engagement with our partners so that, their problems and concerns are addressed in real time. The collaboration and visualization space have undergone dynamic evolution, which makes it imperative for us to put in a robust skilling mechanism in place for partners to help them leverage their capabilities.
Barco’s partner certification programs are known to be comprehensive and best in class when it comes to getting a competitive edge in the industry. Our certifications under Barco University are spread across all our business verticals and are at par with changing market dynamics.
Initiatives to assist and support our channel partners:
- Channel training Program
- Channel Connect Program
o Back-end rebate
o Demo discount
o Partner Certification
o Preferential transfer price based on commitment & investment
- Joint customer calls to large prospects
- Product Demo & POC assistance
- Time-bound, target driven channel incentive scheme
- EDM/ Product Graphics support
- Support for WhatsApp Campaign
- Partner onboarding for Third Party Engagement Portal (Zinfi etc.)
- Business Lead / Enquiry generation
- Online Campaign
- Remote Assistance/troubleshooting
- Service Training
How does Barco choose the right mix of partners for building an effective channel relationship program?
At Barco, we have varied partners catering to different business verticals, namely Audio-Visual partners, Office Automation partners, IT & Networking partners, Security & Surveillance partners, Education vertical focused partners and so on. Each of these partners carries a distinct kind of supplementary and complementary products in their portfolio. For instance, Digital Cinema, ProAV / Events, Healthcare & Meeting Experience (MX) are the four Business Units (BUs) that have channel-partner-centric business models. However, the channel dynamics for each BU is different and non-correlated.
For our ProAV projectors that cater to Fixed install space, we work through our distributors like Visual Display Solutions, Supertron Electronics, etc. Similarly, for the Digital Cinema (DC) market, we work with Qube Cinema Technologies. For Meeting Experience (MX) business we have three National Distributors viz. Ceeco Technology, Online Instruments &Supertron Electronics. With multiple channel partners in place, we ensure that our customers are well informed about our products and services and there is no overlapping. Hence, we have distinct channel relationship programs for each BU, precisely, even for every respective product, designed in a manner that it not only helps each of the partners to grow and specialize but also helps in addressing customer pain points effectively.
What factors does Barco keep in mind while designing any channel program or strategy?
The demand for entertainment & visualization solutions is on the rise globally. It is crucial for our partner community to stay at par with the latest industry trends, to be able to tap and address new opportunities effectively besides creating new ones. To facilitate the same, we design channel programs and strategies with the following factors in mind :
- a) Differentiate: Channel programs are aimed at adding value to specific business requisites of partners. Besides building their technical knowledge and demo/POC (Proof of Concept) capability for a market-leading product, programs are devised to also provide financial rewards and support to the partners
- b) Trust: Good training programs help earn loyalty and commitment of partners, giving them a sense of the company’s credibility and trustworthiness
- c) Grow: Through the introduction of new ‘network-based’ solutions and simple go-to-market strategies and processes
What distinguishes Barco on the Partner program front is its ability to offer an engaging framework to bring entertainment & visualization solutions to the market. We have a dedicated program called Barco Connect to cater to our partners’ needs across three levels of partnership, each of which includes the former’s organization’s resources, areas of specialization, and engagement. Through this program, we maintain our reliability with our partners, in delivering the product, providing support along with offering commercial benefits as stipulated in the program. It also provides a framework for doing business together, thereby portraying Barco’s simplicity and transparency as a partner. The program also gives us an opportunity to engage with our partners in growing our business together, by offering different partner levels and product specializations.
What is Barco India channel roadmap for 2018-19?
For our 2019 outlook, we are looking at increasing our channel base rapidly.
- For Meeting Experience (MX) Business: For our corporate vertical we are planning to induct 8-10 large ‘Corporate IT Resellers’ in 8 metro cities. We are also looking at building our upcountry markets for penetrating wireless collaboration systems in the Education, Govt. & SME vertical especially in the Tier II and Tier III cities through our continued focus on inorganic growth.
- For Digital Cinema (DC) Business: E-Cinema to D-Cinema conversion initiatives through Qube/UFO by leveraging on our partner ecosystem.
- For ProAV, Operator Experience (OX) & Virtual Experience (VX) business: Strengthening relationship with existing SI partners, appointing new SI partners and nurturing them, mapping consultants & architects.
- For Healthcare business: Geo & Channel expansion.
Please elaborate on training/accreditation for existing partner community at Barco India.
Barco is a partner-centric organization. Since the very onset, we have invested in the growth of our partners. We have hired a professional agency to bring all the registered partners on a common platform and enable them to learn about technology trends, high growth areas, and other necessary details through online training and webinars. This is a unique program that we run. We ensure that all our authorized partners are well-trained and well-equipped. We conduct various training programs across the nation, which can be both in-house and on-premises, to train our partners on product segmentation, technical troubleshooting, service, and other technical aspects.
Barco also has numerous certified programs, to train the trainer where we are creating a group of trainers certified and nurtured by us. In return, these trainers further train 250+ partners nationwide. We also conduct partner connect programs and organize multi-city enablement programs where Tier 1, 2 partners and Tier 3 resellers are trained on a regular basis. Currently, we are driving 8 City partner enablement programs for MX. In this forum, all small dealers/resellers from upcountry locations are also invited.
Barco also conceptualizes interesting & exciting channel incentive programs for Tier II/ Tier III channel partners. These are essentially target-linked quarterly programs where partners’ efforts are recognized with a set of tailored rewards.
Barco recently hosted its biggest annual partner summit in Bali, how was the experience for partners, what were some key learnings for both Barco and the partner community?
It was a wonderful experience for us at Barco India to witness the presence of over 130 partners, who have excellently contributed to Barco’s business growth across the Asia Pacific Region, along with 70+ of our APAC Sales & Marketing professionals and several of our Global product and business unit leaders. The leadership team at Barco hosted multiple workshops, technical training sessions, and insightful discussions to understand the challenges faced by the partner ecosystem and how Barco can support them and continue empowering bright outcomes. The summit provided a great platform for all the partners to discuss market realities, innovation, and evolution across all segments – Operator experience, Meeting experience, Healthcare, and ProAV/Events.
The partners got an opportunity to learn about our product portfolio and our future business strategy. Besides interacting with our partners, we also showcased our product innovation through the announcement of over a dozen new products.