AMD gives channel programme extreme makeover

Business growth and happy partners

After restructuring its business last year, AMD has now switched focus to the channel with a complete overhaul of its partner programme.

Nine months in the making, the new programme is skewed towards system builders with the launch of the new Hero Builder designation, with the aim of moving partners higher up the food chain through increasing benefits and rewards. “The programme is designed to help channel partners grow and prosper selling AMD technology,” says Amy McFarland, senior manager, channel marketing, AMD.

Described by the company as transparent, simple, easy to understand, consistent, and most importantly, tailored for different business models, the programme aims to caters for the needs of a diverse EMEA channel.

According to Neil Spicer, senior manager, component channel sales at AMD, the different and varied business models in the EMEA channel are generally ignored by many manufacturers. “It’s important to try and differentiate ourselves from other vendors and a one-size-fits-all channel programme simply doesn’t work,” he says.

The programme is designed around track and tier. The track is tailored towards a partner’s business model: system builder, retailer, etailer and distributor. Partners with dual business models can participate in more than one track. “Partners receive benefits based on their track and tier in a consistent and timely fashion – a partner’s track determines the type of benefits received and the tier determines the level of benefits they receive,” explains McFarland.

The System Builder track, for example offers more technical support; retailers/etailers are provided with more marketing benefits; distributors are offered additional training and sales tools.

There are four tiers: Elite, Premier, Provisional Premier and Select. With the exception of the Select tier, the major criteria for satisfying acceptance into the programme is the weekly reporting of sales out and inventory.

The entry level tier is Select, which is open to all partners joining the programme and offers access to training, sales tools, marketing assets, the Partner Portal and channel communications.

The next tier is Provisional Premier. Here, the main objective is to push partners to the Premier division. This tier is by invitation only and the caveat is partners have two months to prove their worth. Those that don’t make it are demoted with eligibility only available again after a six month waiting period. “Partners are promoted or demoted based on their performance over time. However, a dashboard allows partners to track their progress and goals, and we provide early notification for partners if their position is at risk,” says McFarland.

Those that make it to Premier status receive Select and Provisional Premier benefits, plus access to AMD execs, sample kits and launch participation according to track.

The ultimate aim is to become an Elite partner. By invitation only, this tier provides additional benefits such as access to the Marketing Acceleration Fund, a co-marketing programme; the AMD Executive Team summit invitation; advertising on the Catalyst Control Centre driver site; and advance roadmap information.

The vendor has also introduced the Hero Builder initiative designed to inspire system builders. A subset of the Systems Builder track and available by invitation to partners from any tier, Hero Builders can take advantage of early samples, technical support, documentation, joint PR and social campaigns. “Hero Builders partner with AMD to build innovative solutions, which are then launched at the time new products go to market,” says McFarland.

To ensure communication between the vendor and partners is constant, the Partner Portal has undergone a complete revamp and its Channel Update newsletter is localised for each market, tier and track. The secure portal provides access to vital information including partner programme documentation, product training, sales tools and marketing assets, videos, reviews and news, resources such as driver downloads and industry benchmark information and social media.


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