Sharp moves beyond hardware focus in partner programme

Sharp has adapted its approach to rewarding partners and, elsewhere, Sumo Logic has added some heavyweight names to its programme

Sharp Business Systems UK has reacted to a changing world and revised its partner programme to reduce the reliance on using hardware sales as the key performance indicator.

The vendor has been actively widening the business and build on its print heritage with the addition of more IT services, and back in August 2019 it acquired Complete IT to support that ambition.

Since then, the firm has been talking to partners and customers to make sure both understand that the business can offer much more than just the traditional printers.

With that in mind, the timing appears to have been right to put up a partner programme that rewarded on the basis of activity on the hardware front with a more balanced approach.

“Covid-19 necessitated a new way of thinking, and we knew our previous programme needed to evolve with the changing marketplace,” said Paul Leach, dealer sales director at Sharp UK. “The new programme has been designed to meet the needs of our partners and help them meet customer demand for practical, relevant and cost-effective solutions.

“We see the programme as a partnership. We wanted to develop and create a partner programme that is aspirational to the dealers we partner with, and ultimately leads to a successful relationship for both sides.”

The Technology Partner Programme offers three tiers – certified, premium and elite. The rewards become greater as partners move up through the tiers, with increased sales and product training, tender assistance and marketing assets on offer.

Meanwhile, continuous intelligence specialist Sumo Logic has been expanding its channel base across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and revealed it has added a few more firms to its programme.

Recent additions on the partner front include managed detection and response player eSentire and Computacenter, along with distributors e92plus and ICOS, which join Westcon as part of the firm’s second-tier line-up.

“Our partners are critical to our approach to supporting customers,” said Iain Chidgey, vice-president EMEA at Sumo Logic. “They help us to deliver value at speed. Working with Sumo Logic, those partners deliver integrated cloud-native security services to their customers. With more demand for cloud SIEM, SOAR and analytics, we will rely on our partners to expand our reach and help more companies with their cloud security ambitions.”

Mukesh Gupta, founder and CEO at e92plus, said the firm’s technology would complement many of the security options already in its portfolio. “As cloud services rise in popularity, we want to ensure that our partners can support their customers around digital transformation, allowing them to migrate and grow effectively without leaving crucial elements like cyber security behind,” he said.

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