New Channel Program Targets Ruggedized Computer Market
Itronix expects 50 percent growth in its channel business as federal and public safety markets boom and demand for ruggedized systems grows.
General Dynamics Itronix, a leading manufacturer of rugged computers, has launched an aggressive channel program to drive sales growth and support resellers in a market that is undergoing healthy expansion.
The compounded annual growth rate for rugged mobile computing is between five and 10 percent, depending on the form factor, said John Schneider, business unit director, General Dynamics Itronix. This is a $500 million-plus market, according to Venture Development Corp., a research firm that tracks the rugged computing space.
Schneider added that with the company's ACES channel program, "we are committed to running all public safety and federal business through the channel. We anticipate a 50-percent growth in our revenue through the channel for 2008, both as a result of the improvements to our channel program and further penetration into the public safety and federal marketplaces.
To help achieve its goals, the companys channel program provides volume incentive discounts and improved inbound/outbound lead generation. Warranty and service programs also have been simplified.
Schneider said the vendor will mainly be driving growth by giving annual volume incentive rebates to select resellers based on individual capabilities and strengths. Our partners will have the opportunity to receive rebates and/or additional MDF funding when they attain multi-tiered volume thresholds, he said. When these additional funds are circulated back into sales and marketing efforts, we expect an even greater amount of momentum will build around the demand for our products and services.
To help resellers attain volume thresholds, General Dynamics Itronix will beef up its lead generation efforts to increase the number of qualified leads it gives to resellers.
Channel partners said the new program should streamline the sales process. This new channel program will formalize a lot of things that General Dynamics Itronix did on an ad-hoc basis before, said Sejal Solanki, director of marketing at Group Mobile, a Phoenix, Ariz.-based provider of rugged and mobile solutions.
I think this new program will give us more confidence and flexibility in selling General Dynamics Itronix products, she said. General Dynamics is trying very hard to reward sales efforts and to make it easier for resellers to make sales.
Solanki said she is confident that when Group Mobile gets a qualified lead from General Dynamics Itronix there wont be another reseller going after the same deal.
Schneider said the vendor is expanding into full production mode the pilot program for sales leads it began last August. Our intent is to raise the quality of leads we feed the channel, said Schneider.
The vendor has also released an on-line tool that eases the configuration and pricing process of buying its products.
Schneider said resellers can access marketing materials, MDF request forms and register deals through a web portal. On the services side, Schneider said General Dynamics has overhauled its program considerably.
Our service programs have typically been multifaceted and too complex to sell through the channel, he said. We have revamped our service programs through simplified naming conventions and a reduction in the number of SKUs. The service programs are uniquely tailored to the needs of mobile customers interested in expanding their service coverage beyond the standard warranty (defects in materials and workmanship).
Service offerings include expanded product warranties, no-fault coverage for accidental damage for smaller installations, and no-fault 75+ coverage for larger installations which includes a dedicated vendor account manager to support the installation.
All in all, we are trying to raise the bar and make General Dynamics Itronix a more channel-friendly company, said Schneider. We realize our successes in gaining market share are largely dependent on the channel. We want to be an attractive company for resellers to partner with.