New resources help D&H Distributing's reseller partners learn additional skills and expand their businesses.
By Cecilia Galvin
February 01, 2012
D&H Distributing Co. prides itself on its partner enablement, and with good reason. The Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor continually develops new programs, or upgrades existing ones, to build loyalty and help partners succeed. This year should prove to be no exception. After announcing double-digit growth of 14 percent year over year for 2011, the company has invested in its resellers with additional channel initiatives.
First out of the gate is the Partner Services Program, which officially launches this month. In response to customer requests for marketing assistance, the new program provides free email and Web ad templates, links to vendor logos, product images, tutorials, collateral, training videos, and partner program information. End-user solutions templates are also available on such topics as mobilizing your workforce and EMR for healthcare, among others.
“Manufacturers sometimes offer these, but they’re very point-product related—about a specific computer or storage appliance or other technology—and that’s not the way resellers talk to their end users,” says Dan Schwab, D&H Distributing co-president. “So we made the [collateral] solutions-focused.”
D&H is also continuing its Business Assurance program, with increased credit lines for select small business VARs. “So if someone has a $25,000 net line through us and Business Assurance, we might give that customer a $50,000 line of credit,” says Schwab. “When partners sell products, there’s often a cash flow timing concern—they have to get paid by their end user before they can pay [the product] invoice. This program gives them more flexibility and the capital to invest and grow their business.”
Commitment to Training
The distributor completed its Solutions Lab facility last year, where it presents and films for later online viewing tutorials and demos. “Last year we were testing the water, and this year we’ll be very aggressive in driving content to our customers,” says Schwab. The 30-minute training sessions provide detailed information on a variety of topics “We have our technical experts walk partners through [the material]—this is how you set up a digital surveillance server, this is how you build a new server with Windows Small Business Server Essentials,” he explains. This month the lab is featuring Intel’s vPro processors; Intel’s Romley platform will be highlighted in March.
Training opportunities for partners are also available across the county. After piloting vendor-centric, regional “city workshops” in the Canadian market, and then testing them in the United States in Q4 2011, the company is putting the finishing touches on a workshop schedule for 2012. The premise is simple: If a D&H vendor has an outstanding technology or solution that would require two or three hours of partner training, the distributor acts as a “connecting point” between vendor and partner.
“Manufacturers struggle with how to get products to the small business VAR to do training,” says Schwab, “because these resellers aren’t flying to all the vendors’ annual summits. So we set up lunches or dinners, invite 40 to 60 customers, and the manufacturer feeds them and does the training, which is a deeper dive [than what’s available online].” For manufacturers offering a complementary solution, the event may be presented jointly by the associated vendors.
Not surprisingly, Schwab says there is huge demand for the workshops, which are offered at no cost to the reseller and do not require long-distance travel. At press time, a workshop by HP and AMD was planned for the Philadelphia area, HP and Symantec for the Washington, D.C. area, Lenovo in the Chicago area, and Cisco and Microsoft were on board with training in as-yet undetermined locations.
Schwab says the D&H resellers need and deserve these resources and programs: “We have the philosophy that if we invest and take care of our customers, and drive incremental demand for our manufacturers, we’ll be OK in the end.”