In announcing its channel partner program last year at ASIS in Orlando, Fla., Verint
proclaimed the offering helps build a cadre of systems integrators highly qualified to implement the most effective IP video systems for critical infrastructure. The program offers sector-specific training, guidance and certification for integrators that specify Nextiva video intelligence solutions.
Once they are a channel partner, the integrator can apply to become a Verint Verified Advanced Partner, which requires a strong background in integrated enterprise security systems. Among its benefits, project design support is offered as standard service.
“Project implementation support is provided as a value-added service and as a continuum of the Verint support system,” says the company’s director of marketing, Josh Phillips. “Verint-trained technicians can receive telephone support and software updates, and as they balance their resources they can elect to bring our professional services to participate in system commissioning, upgrades, etc.”
Brivo Systems, a provider of cloud-based access control solutions, is a recent entrant into the dealer program fray. Its focus is on helping its members develop new streams of recurring revenue and achieve long-term growth. Once becoming an authorized dealer, participants qualify for one of the three levels (Blue, Gold or Silver) based on purchases, certification, training, market development plans, product demonstration capabilities and other criteria.
A list of program benefits is lengthy, but the two that generate the most interest are the lead sharing with the most committed Brivo Blue Dealers and the market development funds allocated for dealers’ use in growing the market, explains Brivo Director of Sales Operations Lee Odess. “We understand the costs associated in growing their business, and our assistance in defraying those costs shows our firm commitment to our dealers.”
IP Specialists Need Apply
Of course, manufacturers that make most of their hay selling to market niches that require integrated, networked solutions are going to need VARs that can successfully provide to the end user. It comes as no surprise, therefore, many channel programs in this arena set stringent benchmarks for participation. Let’s take a look at some of the criteria IT-centric manufacturers are expecting of their dealer/integrator channel partners.
At DVTel, a provider of intelligent security solutions, partners in its value-added reseller program are expected to have strong IT and networking skills, as well as being comfortable in configuring and programming video management systems.
“IT skills are a critical component of a VAR’s success in today’s market, and more and more emphasis is being placed on the value of a team’s overall ability to manage IP-focused installations,” says Paul Smith, DVTel’s vice president of marketing.
DVTel resellers are required to send technicians to certification training and continue to maintain qualified staff to promote, sell and support its video management software, IP cameras and video analytics. “VARs must also provide warranty services to their customers and purchase demo equipment for sales staff and customer showrooms,” Smith says.
The proliferation of IT/IP across the entire industry landscape is, naturally, influencing more than manufacturers. In 2009, Diebold extended its corporate boundaries as a propriety monitoring provider to launch an advanced dealer program for independent installers and integrators. Similar to vendors looking to attract skilled, forward-thinking VARs, Diebold wants partners that are attracted to reselling the company’s video monitoring, managed access control and energy management capabilities, among other advanced monitoring services.
“We are looking for somebody that is IP savvy; somebody who understands the value of the services model vs. a product or hardware model,” says Jacky Grimm, Diebold’s vice president of security solutions. “We want someone with the skills to understand IP surveillance and managed access control — the cloud-computing model that everybody is talking about.”
Accomplishing a successful dealer program partnership is a two-way street. Just as dealers and integrators will need to do their homework, you can expect vendors and service providers — especially those operating advanced programs — will scrutinize potential members.
In the case of Diebold’s recruitment phase, representatives will travel to the prospective dealer company for an onsite visit. “When we walk into their building and sit down with them, talk to their people, start to feel the culture of the company, you pick up on it pretty quick whether or not it’s just talk or if they are really capable of doing it,” Grimm says. “We look at the capacity for a dealer to be able to do the work we are going to be asking them to do.”
Similarly at Brivo, the company wants to see that its dealer members embrace new technology and are not satisfied with the status quo. The ideal applicant is someone looking to grow and build value in their organization, explains Odess. “Meaning, they understand and are taking steps to set up their business to sell and support monthly services, not just chase jobs. Someone committed to training; a company that understands how to go out and aggressively develop markets.”
Rodney Bosch is Managing Editor for SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (310) 533-2426.
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