The main feature of the new program is a new partner portal, which is integrated with Salesforce and provides much quicker access to materials and response times from ViewSonic than was the case in the past.
ViewSonic has retired its long-time partner program, Finch Club. While that program had the benefit of a colourful and distinctive name, it also had the disadvantage of an old-timey partner portal, which made it difficult to provide services to partners that met today’s expectations. So Finch Club has given way to the ViewSonic Partner Program, which has a less catchy name, but a portal and attached services that the company thinks partners will prefer.
The new program comes at a time of significant momentum for ViewSonic, which benefited in 2020 from new product requirements affiliated with the massive move from the workplace to home offices.
“This was the biggest year we have ever had, with almost 50% growth for Canada, outpacing the market,” said Deidre Deacon, General Manager, ViewSonic Canada. “Initially people needed stuff at home, and many of them got the cheapest monitors they could get. Now they are upgrading from 22- to 27-inch models this year. The explosion in hybrid education also helped us significantly, as we were up 50% in hybrid panels in Canada.”
ViewSonic itself is moving to a hybrid workplace model.
“We have a beautiful office in Orange country, but we are moving to a hybrid model there,” Deacon stated. “For subsidiaries like Canada, we will work from home anyway.”
ViewSonic conducted a partner survey in Q1 to rank the channel program features of most importance to its partners.
“We wanted to ask what was working, and we wanted to revamp Finch Club,” Deacon noted. “So we surveyed the market, to reflect what the channel was looking at.”
A key finding was that 92% of respondents wanted on-demand, virtual and in-person demo programs that can be booked online 24/7. This was something that was impossible with the Finch Club portal.
“The Finch Club portal had been around for a while,” Deacon said. “This new one is integrated with Salesforce. It lets us integrate pricing and rebates and all the things the old portal couldn’t do. This beautiful new portal lets partners sign up, get a dedicated sales rep, and book demos online, as well as in person.”
It also makes it much easier and faster to get financial incents like spiffs and volume pricing.
“The biggest enhancement is the ability to connect with the program,” Deacon said. “Before, you would fill out a spiff request, and a month later get a payout. With the portal it’s much easier and faster to get it. It’s also easier to work with a sales rep around things like bid pricing. There are more touch points and personalization. We can also spit back a discounted price much more quickly than before.”
Other financial incents now include more rewards for new resellers, and more marketing support on the back end.
The new portal also contains a new digital library to educate partners.
“We have this digital library we want the reseller community to have access to,” Deacon said. “That’s a whole new piece of the program.”
The new training adds a quarterly training component on how to resell solutions.
“We didn’t have quarterly training before,” Deacon said. “Each quarter there are different themed training sessions. They are also solution based, while our training before was more feeds and speeds. Partners can also invite their end users to these sessions.”
The renamed partner program is also being accompanies by a new recruitment campaign to bring new resellers to ViewSonic.
“We want them to see the opportunity in hybrid education,” Deacon pointed out.
Mark Avila is Business Development Manager for Solution Stack, a Vaughn ON-based that sells nationally, with displays being a big part of their business, between 15 and 20%. Avila said that the new ViewSonic portal is a major upgrade.
“What I like about the new portal is how easy it is to navigate,” Avila stated. “I talk from experience because my role at Solution Stack involves vendor relations so I have a lot of experience with this. It provides very quick access to information.”