In my last blog, I wrote about the great partnership L-Tron and Advantech have together. As one of Advantech’s Premier Channel Partners, L-Tron was invited to attend the Advantech AASECO (Advantech Automation Sales Eco Partnership) conference in October 2012 being held in Taipei, Taiwan. I was excited to attend, but a little apprehensive about traveling to such an exotic locale!
I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived in Taiwan. The culture, the food, the climate – you name it, were all completely foreign to me. But what I found was an immaculate city, in which everyone that I encountered was polite and respectful. The food was delicious, particularly one of my personal favorites, chicken dumplings. I discovered and traveled all over Taipei via a clean, easy-to-navigate subway system, as well as took advantage of a few wonderful bus tours on our time “off” from the conference. What I discovered was a culture that I want to know more about—traditional tea house, beautiful temples, museums and of course Taipei 101!
The conference itself was extremely interesting and informative. Below I will share some information provided by Ming-Chin Wu, the President of Advantech’s Industrial Automation Group, in response to some interview questions that we asked. Keep reading to learn more!
Question: How did AASECO originate?
Since the first day in business, Advantech has formed strong and lasting partnerships with many well-established channel partners and solution partners to deliver prompt and reliable local services for our customers. Through rigorous training and validation, our partners are certified annually, guaranteeing a high standard of quality & service. With these dedicated and well-trained sales and technical support teams, Advantech customers can enjoy outstanding quality services and early access to latest industrial computing solutions. I would say the strong cooperative relationship with our channel partners is one of the most keys to our business success.
Now we see great opportunities in the automation market. However, we experience getting higher competition as well. To maintain our leading market position and keep growing our business, we realize that we need to further strengthen our partnership with our channel partners. This is the reason why we initiate the AASECO program. Our eventual goal is to make the AASECO a virtual company and Advantech and partners work closely as a team. I strongly believe that cooperation will make us a long-lasting leader.
Question: How many AASECO partners does Advantech currently have?
Currently, Advantech has partners in the following categories: Distribution Channel Partners (DCP) and Focused Channel Partner (FCP). Advantech DCPs focus on industrial automation and general computing platform markets. With local inventory and logistic services, our DCPs can provide prompt delivery of system components for resellers and system integrators’ control and automation applications. Advantech FCPs are application experts in specific vertical segments. They provide local value-added services for our customers, such as application development, technical consultation, design service, integration & installation, on-site services, technical training and project management.
Aligned with our regional sales offices and service centers, Advantech channel partners have formed a strong service network to offer professional pre-sales and post-sales worldwide. As mentioned earlier, we hope to further cooperate with our partners. So basically, all of the existing DCPs and FCPs are the candidates of our AASECO partners. We may develop new AASECO partners for some special regions or business sectors if needed.
Question: How does AASECO promote growth and collaboration among Advantech and the Company’s Premier Partners?
In the past, our marketing cooperation with channel partners was more about sponsoring their marketing programs. We either provided them with marketing budgets or we held events to award their efforts.
The event goal of AASECO is to make channel partners feel part of the enterprise, just like our internal employees. So we need to do things differently. We are working on the following four directions:
- Co-branding and marketing cooperation: First, we should co-brand with our partners so that we can promote the Advantech brand more effectively. Advantech is considered a leading marketing company. Through the AASECO model, channel partners are able to leverage our marketing resources and further develop their leading position. In addition to marketing efforts, our supply chain management team is working with partners to fine tune the services and ensure customer stratification.
- Business development: An Annual Business Plan (ABP) sets out the business directions, strategies, objectives and resource allocation. I personally consider it’s the foundation of business success. Since it is so very important, we would work with our AASCEO partners to develop their ABP on regularly base. By doing so, we can understand their future strategies and plan future support and joint promotions.
- Channel empowerment: Grow with our channel partners is always our goal. We have a comprehensive channel partner empowerment program. The program includes training, personal development, and rewarding aspects.
- Shared success: Advantech is glad to share business success with our partners. In the past we provided our partners with certain percentage of revenue as a marketing fund. The new idea is that we not only sponsor marketing fund to the company, but also have profit sharing program which not only benefit individuals as well.
That’s AASECO in a nutshell, and we look forward to all of these opportunities as we move forward growing our Advantech line and our partnership.
In my next blog, I’ll be sharing a story about my travel woes. Hope you’ll be back to read it!