Improve Communications to Improve Our Partnership: Takeaways from XChange 2014 Part 1

Last month I attended my very first XChange event in San Antonio, Texas. Hundreds of channel partners and dozens of vendors came together to share best practices, showcase new solutions, and to try and answer that billion dollar question: How do we get better?

I learned so much at this event through the keynote speakers, the boardroom sessions, and the conversations at our booth about how we at APC by Schneider Electric can get better – better for you (our partners), and better for your customers.   We know we have to get better at getting in front of you with the products, information, content, and support that you need to be successful and profitable. Here are three areas in particular I feel we can and WILL improve on in the coming months, demonstrated by questions/comments I heard over and over last week in Texas.

1. Why Don’t I Hear From APC? Or, Who is My APC Rep?

We are hard at work on our coverage, ensuring every partner has someone they can consistently reach out to for APC sales, education, and marketing support. In fact, we have entire teams that are dedicated to the partners in every territory in North America. Each territory has a local APC representative with an inside counterpart, a local Schneider Electric Data Center design-savvy partner, and a Partner Development Representative (PDR) for those partners just ramping up in our program. PDRs can get you started with education, certification training, program knowledge, etc. and your local reps and SE partners can help you with opportunities. Click here for a coverage map of the entry-level PDRs to get you started, and you can expect to hear a lot more from APC in the future! Additionally, you can always email us at channel.programs@apc.com for assistance in finding an APC Sales person so help you.

2. I Didn’t Know APC Made This!

Many resellers came by our booth at XChange and almost didn’t notice the product we were showcasing, the NetShelter CX “Server Room in a Box.” They didn’t notice it because it looks more like a beautiful piece of furniture than a self-cooling, noise-cancelling, power-providing beast of an IT cabinet. Once we demonstrated the features and applications of this solution, it was fun to see the light bulbs appear: “I could use this in so many places! I can think if so many customers – this is exactly what they need!” The NetShelter CX is just one example of the ground-breaking solutions we bring to the table, and it became clear to me at this event that we need to do a better job creating those “ah-ha” moments with our software, services, and other offers which enable categorical expansion. We’re addressing this need in a few ways: The reorganization of partner support as mentioned above, the hosting of more partner and customer events and tours at our Schneider Electric Technology Center (SETC) in St. Louis, and finally a revamp of our Quarterly Partner Profit Webinars which will provide more sneak-peaks of what’s new and more innovative ways to earn recurring revenue than ever before! Click here for information on our webinars. Also, watch this short onsite video interview explaining how we plan to increase our Software-as-a-Service business.

3. I THINK I’m an APC Partner

It’s up to us to ensure that you don’t THINK, you KNOW you’re signed up for our Channel Partner Program! We have so many ways for you to be profitable and successful via our incentive programs, distributor rebates, and quarterly promotions. We’re making noise about these programs in our Quarterly Partner Profit Webinars, and you can learn more about the ongoing programs here. To figure out whether you’re enrolled in the Channel Partner Program, you can email us at channel.programs@apc.com.

We at APC by Schneider Electric value the Channel above all else, so we’re constantly striving to improve your experience so may grow together towards profitable success.

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