Panasonic Computer Product Solutions recently brought its top 100 European partners together in Portugal to celebrate a year of channel success and to focus on its next phase of expansion, which will be powered by a growing tablet range and expanded industry solutions offering opportunity in both new and existing sectors.
At the second annual Toughbook Engage Partner Conference, in Lisbon, channel partners will hear how the new Toughpad range, combined with applications, hardware and peripherals from technology partners, is opening up new opportunities within existing verticals, but also generating demand in new sectors, such as transportation, retail and logistics. Technology partners such as Absolute Software, Antenna Plus, Brother UK, CentraStage, Gamber-Johnson, Havis, InfoCase, Lind Electronics, Man and Machine, and Socket Mobile, are supporting the event.
“This year’s conference aims to bring together as many of our 22 Official Distributors and 86 Premier Partners across Europe as possible,” said Sophie Nicolay, European Channel Marketing Manager at CPS. “Interactive workshop sessions will guide partners on how best to address new opportunities opened up by trends in each market and Toughbook’s unique value proposition within the various verticals. Channel partners will have the opportunity to meet technology partners that will enable them to offer an even stronger portfolio of end-to-end rugged and mobile solutions. Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural event, we hope to reinforce our partner strategy and thank our partner community for their ongoing support and business. Revenue from partners increased by 31% from FY11 to FY12 and incremental business brought to us by partners continues to grow, as does the programme itself.”
Putting the channel at the core of its go-to-market strategy, CPS has invested more than €1.5m in over 350 joint marketing initiatives with over 80 different channel partners to stimulate growth. The company now has dedicated Partner Account Managers in place in 9 core regions across Europe, a dedicated and centralised marketing and operations team, and has adapted its internal processes with the channel in mind. Members of the Engage Partner Programme benefit from Marketing Development Funds (MDF), co-branded marketing campaigns, qualified leads, preferential pricing or “points for prizes” for registering deals, discounted demonstration units, regular communications and a comprehensive E-Learning training programme for partner certification. A training incentive run at the start of the year led to over 2500 online courses being taken by partners across Europe.
European Rugged Notebook and Business Tablet Leader
Panasonic became the European market leader for rugged business tablets in 2012 with a 29% unit share of the market, according to the latest results from analyst group VDC Research. Driven by the success of its growing range of rugged business Toughpad tablets, Panasonic took European top spot for rugged tablets with a 400% year-on-year increase in units shipped. The company also maintained its dominant position in the rugged notebook market with a 63% unit share for its Toughbook range.
“We have a very positive message for our partners”, said Kevin Jones, Director of Sales, Customer Service & Operations at CPS. “We continue to launch quality products in line with market dynamics. We are successful and we continue to grow which means a huge amount of opportunity for the channel. By partnering with technology partners and specialist ISVs, such as those sponsoring our event, we are able to provide businesses with industry-specific end-to-end solutions using Toughbook and Toughpad devices to help them get the best from their mobile workforces, transforming their productivity in the field. We are able to deliver those solutions even more quickly and effectively to our customers thanks to our valued channel community.”
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