Huawei has launched its global enterprise channel push, kicking off global programmes for partners as well as ICT training and certification courses in a bid to ramp up its enterprise business and push further into the large enterprise and government market.
While the channel programme has been in play in New Zealand since last year – with Simms International (to be rebranded later this year as expressonline) the first global distributor that Huawei signed – the company officially launched the two-tier partner programme, aimed at driving growth for its enterprise business, at CeBit in Germany last week. A US channel programme was also launched last year.
Vaughan Nankivell, Simms ANZ business manager for Huawei Enterprise, says while New Zealand is ‘a couple of months ahead of the game’ with the channel programme, the launch is significant as an indication of Huawei’s global intentions.
Launched in 2011, Huawei’s Enterprise Business Group is regarded as a threat to many long-standing market players, including Cisco and HP. Huawei Enterprise logged global sales contracts of US$3.8 billion in 2011, up from US$2 billion in 2010, while Huawei itself has seen ‘huge growth’, Nankivell notes.
William Xu, Huawei senior president and Huawei Enterprise Business Group chief executive, says: "An important component of our plan is to expand our reach by building a healthy channel partner ecosystem.
"Together with our channel partners, we intend to lead the industry with a dual devotion to customer-centric innovation and service, while tapping in to Huawei’s vast experience to help enterprise customers navigate the challenges and opportunities in today’s ICT era.”
Globally, the two-tier channel model will include tier one resellers, who deal direct with Huawei, and tier two resellers, who deal through distributors. This group includes Huawei’s platinum, gold and silver partners.
However, in New Zealand Simms and Huawei have avoided the ‘metal metaphor’, opting not to run with platinum, gold and silver partners.
"We didn’t want to put the usual suspects into pigeon holes,” Nankivell says, "and wanted to provide an equal opportunity for resellers to create their own destiny.”
The company has 15 partners in New Zealand and Nankivell says rather than going broad, the company is being ‘very focussed’ here.
"We have to ensure partners get value too.”
Huawei also launched its Enterprise Training and Certification Programme at Cebit, saying the programme covers ‘all ICT technical fields’ and has been positioned to ‘eventually become the leading ICT technical qualification’.
Huawei says it aims to certify 300,000 professionals by 2015; it will also be recruiting partners to become Huawei Authorised Learning Partners.
"The channel is a key component to Huawei Enterprise’s business growth strategy, and we are approaching partners with a win-win model, creating business opportunities for our partners while maximising value for end customers,” says Robert Yang, Huawei Enterprise president of channel sales department.
"As we grow our business, our broad and comprehensive product portfolio, backed by our extensive R&D expertise, provides our partners with huge opportunities for business growth.”
Huawei also launched a number of new enterprise products at Cebit, including new switches and routers.