AMD plots channel Rewards program; opens up Fusion to disties

AMD Fusion Partner Program Select logoWhen AMD rolled out its new Fusion Partner Program late last year, one of its major goals was to get as many of its different partner categories as possible under the same broad umbrella.

The chipmaker has come a step closer to that goal with the introduction of new tracks for the company’s distribution partners within the program.

And it’s also announced plans for a soon-to-debut Rewards program that it will use to try to drive the all-AMD message into a broader part of its channel community.

That’s not a bad first birthday celebration for the unified channel program, although to be honest, a little bit of cake is always a nice touch.

Here’s the (unfortunately, ice cream-free) scoop on why these announcements are a big deal for a big part of AMD’s channel community.

Until now, the chipmaker has largely focused its rewards and incentives for selling all AMD (CPU, GPU and chipset) offerings on its elite tiers of partners. But with the launch of its upcoming AMD Rewards program, it’s reaching out to the much broader audience of its Select tier of solution providers.

According to Bahr Mahony, AMD’s director of worldwide channel marketing, the company’s Select tier of partners represents “more than 50 per cent of our partner base.” “That’s why it’s important to provide some sort of incentive for the Select tier to drive loyalty and motivation to sell AMD-based products,” Mahony said.

When AMD Rewards launches – it will be piloted soon in Canada, the U.S. and Brazil – it will provide incentives for sales reps at Select partners to get educated on and sell AMD-based products.

Typically of such loyalty programs, channel reps will earn points for the amount of AMD gear they sell, and can cash in those points for “a pretty extensive list of prizes from flat panel TVs to barbecue grills,” Mahony said. The program will also offer PCs – we’re going to presume they’re all going to be AMD-powered.

But AMD Rewards differs from many loyalty programs in a few important ways.

First of all, Mahony said, this isn’t a promotion on boxed AMD chips, boards or parts. Reps who sell gear with AMD stuff inside will also accumulate points based on the amount of the company’s gear inside.

And secondly, solution providers will also accumulate points for taking in online training, in-person events and other educational material that’s designed to make sure they’re up to speed on the feeds and speeds, value propositions and other things they need to know to effectively sell AMD.

The plan is to take the program worldwide in short order.

The program will be driven by – and drive sales to – the newest members of the Fusion Partner Program Community, the distributors on whom AMD is increasingly counting to manage the broad Select tier of channel partners.

The program is now open to both master distributors, those disties that have a direct purchasing agreement with AMD for boxed AMD processors and other gear; and channel providers, the chipmaker’s term for those distributors that deal in systems powered by AMD gear.

Before bringing them into Fusion, Mahony said AMD typically had separate engagements with each of its distribution partners. Now it’s bringing them together into the Fusion Partner Program tracks, and is increasing the number of options, benefits and incentives available to them.

“We want to support those customers in the sale of our customers’ products to make it easier for them to support and market AMD-based PCs,” Mahony told “The distributor track very much parallels the construct of the Fusion Partner Program in general and provides a very globally consistent set of benefits to our distribution partners worldwide.”