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We do understand the concept of Partner Channel Management, there is a manufacturer, a distributor (partner) and the End customer who buys the product.

For Example:

Manufacturer: Intel (Manufactures Computer Chips)

Distributor: Ingram Micro (Authorized Distributor for Intel)

End Customer: HP/Dell/IBM etc. (End customer who buys the product from the Distributor)

In this post I will focus on the Partner Channel Management scenario within SAP CRM 7.0 related to industry specific High Tech.

There are three variants within High Tech:

High Tech – Electronics and Component Manufacturing

Ex: HP

High Tech – Semiconductor and Photovoltaic Companies

Ex: AMD

High Tech – Software Providers

Ex: Adobe

In general within SAP CRM High Tech the following processes are being managed:

Channel Partner Relationship Management:

To manage the relationship scenario between the manufacturer and the distributor.

Lead and Opportunity Management:

This scenario helps manage the process of capturing a lead and converting into a sale through opportunity management.

Campaign Management with Channel Partners:

Various Campaigns can be created and executed to encourage channel partners to achieve targets and generate targeted brand awareness.

Activity Management:

Needed during the entire process of converting a lead to an opportunity to manage meetings, appointments etc.

Market Development Funds:

To keep track of and manage the funds being provided to the channel partner for marketing activities such as brand awareness etc.

Analytics:

This helps monitor all the sales generated through a particular channel partner, check the pipeline statistics and analyze future performance and objectives.

Various High Tech Industries have benefitted by implementing the SAP CRM’s High Tech process solution and following are a few of them which I have come across:

1) Better transparency on the Resale done by the channel partners to the end customers:

2) Tracking the efforts put in by the channel partner to win a sale and generate brand awareness.

3) Strong seamless integration with supply chain (Inventory Management) to track availability and delivery.

4) Strategically deploy efforts to manage the existing partners without compromise of expanding the partner base.

5) Near real time collaboration between the brand owner and the channel partner especially in Inventory Management.

To maximize the utilization of the software and the processes within Partner Channel Management, I would like to see organizations focus on the following drawbacks during and after implementation:

1) Corporate Culture and Commitment:

     The Brand Owner’s should also consider sharing their Corporate culture and commitment towards the brand with their Channel Partners which in turn will

     increase visibility and assist Channel Partners to share the same with the End Customers in turn increasing good will.

2) Leveraging of all the IT processes:

     Brand Owner’s and Channel Partners should ensure utilizing all the processes being implemented in the system and keep the implementation team/support        team well informed of any drawbacks and initiate resolving the same at the earliest.

3) Training and Regressive testing:

    Proper and extensive training has to be provided to the end users and should not be compromised in an effort to go-live at the earliest.

    Extensive regressive testing should also be carried out.

    The client/organization should be flexible to extend the go-live date if necessary in order to ensure the above mentioned activities are carried out by the        

    implementation partner.

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