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Schneider Electric cuts ribbon on more open partner programme

Vendor reacts to calls for a revised structure and introduces a fresh approach

Schneider Electric has cut the ribbon on a fresh partner programme, determined to capture all partner types and become an attractive destination for a new wave of channel players.

The power management specialist has been working with the channel for more than four decades and has been using a programme that has remained largely unchanged for the best part of 10 years.

But in recognition of the changing demands from its channel base, the firm has opted to roll out its mySchneider IT partner programme across Europe, with the emphasis on making it easier for more partners to engage with the vendor.

Phase one of the programme, which starts now, introduces an “IT Solution Provider” specialisation, with partners able to certify on three levels – Select, Premier and Elite – enabling them to combine multiple specialisations, including identifying, reselling and configuring.

Marilia Ferreira, strategic marketing manager, secure power division, Europe at Schneider Electric, said partners had been calling for greater flexibility in the way the vendor segmented its programme. Surveys it had carried out showed one-third were dissatisfied with the structure on offer.

“The new structure – our partners were asking for that – supports the growth of their businesses,” she said. “The main novelty here is that the IT solution provider can now achieve the elite level, which before was an exclusivity for the datacentre solution provider category of partnership.”

The plan is for stage 2 and 3 to follow next year, with “Software and Services Provider” and “Datacentre Solutions Provider” specialisations being added.

“Our previous partner programme in its format has been in situ for around about nine years now,” said David Terry, VP, IT channels, Schneider Electric Europe. “So we are not one of those companies that changes our partner programme with the will of the wind.

“We’ve worked with our customers, particularly in the UK because a lot of my programme team work in the UK around assessing, to ask what they wanted to see come out of this partner programme. Topics like ease of use, visibility, consistency – all these kinds of things were very high up on the feedback that we got.

“Where our current partner programme was very vertical, based on technical competencies around mechanical and electrical engineering, we were missing part of our orbit. A big chunk of our partner community really felt like they didn’t have a home. So the new structure that’s been launched is very much based on business models.

“Partners that recognise themselves as VARs, recognise themselves as an MSP and a system integrator now have a very clear dedicated pathway within our partner programme.”

Terry said the programme had been designed to reward and support existing partners, but it was hoped it would also attract some fresh blood and the door was open for more partners to sign up.

Benefits of the mySchneider programme

  • New structure: IT Solution Providers can progress from “Enrolled” to “Elite” level, using a metrics-based approach to increase core competencies, certifications and performance.
  • New interface: easy-to-navigate programme dashboard offers visibility for sales, partners and programme managers.
  • Enhanced training paths.
  • myRewards: tailored for partners’ businesses requirements, including rewards and financial incentives to proactively identify, develop and help close new business opportunities.
  • Sustainability: access to Schneider Electric’s Green Premium products and solutions.

Read more on Channel Partner Programmes