AMD is offering processor discounts to value-added resellers that two top partners have described as “aggressive” in a new invitation-only chipmaker partner program.
Terry Richardson, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise veteran who became AMD’s North America channel head last year, told CRN exclusively that the volume incentive rebate program is among the many benefits of the new commercial systems partner program launched on January 1st. The program covers PCs using Ryzen processors and servers using EPYC processors from OEMs like HPE, Dell Technologies, and Lenovo.
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Richardson, who spent his early months at AMD building the program, said the discounts and other benefits, which include training and sales and marketing support, are intended to incentivize partners who sell AMD-based systems and to educate them on how AMD differentiates itself from its competitors. Intel.
“If they choose to really understand and take the time to not only understand the AMD differentiation, but to start aggressively positioning it, then there’s a reward,” he said in an interview with CRN.
AMD offers discounts in the program on a per-processor basis, and partners earn more money if they are in the Elite and Executive tiers of the program, which are determined by the partner’s annual sales of systems that use AMD processors. . Discounts, which also have training requirements, also increase for processors higher in the stack, especially those with higher core counts.
“When we presented the program and the proposed discounts for 2022 for client and server, the feedback from the advisory board members was very, very competitive and very attractive,” said Richardson, who declined to provide specific numbers on discounts for competitive reasons.
Rob Schaeffer, president and COO of Orange, California, CBT, No. 232 on CRN’s 2021 list of 500 solution providers, told CRN that AMD’s volume discounts for processors are “much higher than what his company receives from Intel. He said that while discounts aren’t the most important factor determining preference between AMD and Intel, it does make it easier to talk.
“It’s one more tool in the vendor’s toolkit that helps them compete and win for customers,” said Shaeffer, who previously worked on Richardson’s distribution team at HPE. “Obviously you have to have the relationship of trust. You must continue to bring the best of technology that meets customer requirements. And then you have to do it at a competitive price. Thus, with the discounts, it is one more tool available to the team in contact with the customer and which they can exploit. »
Rebate programs are important for solution providers, according to Schaeffer, because they can increase profitability for a company that typically sees slim margins with system sales. AMD’s processors have been very competitive against Intel’s for the past few years, he said, which makes the discounts even better.
“Any place where you can increase profitability, either at the corporate level or at the [sales] rep level, it makes a big difference, and when you combine it with a technology advantage, it’s a win-win for everyone,” Schaeffer said.
Solution providers can use rebate money to reinvest in the business or pass the rebates back to the customer, Schaeffer said, but it’s ultimately up to each company how they use it. In the case of his business, CBT uses rebate money to invest in training and hiring new employees, he added.
“We have more engineers than salespeople, and we’ll maintain that ratio, so that contribution to our bottom line really helps,” he said.
But while the discounts are significant, AMD’s new Partner Program offers other important benefits, like market development funds and co-marketing programs, as well as more intangible things like access to technologists and to AMD executives, according to Schaeffer.
“It gives us a special community and a special connection with AMD, and especially with their leaders and technologists, which helps us stay ahead of the curve, so that’s extremely important,” he said.
Scott Ward, chief revenue officer of Computacenter based in Westwood, Mass., No. 27 on the SP 500 list, told CRN that AMD’s new rebate program is “very aggressive.”
“Intel’s program is strong, but these guys have taken a bigger, more aggressive investment to help us grow our business and reward us for that growth,” he said.
Echoing Schaeffer, Ward said such deep discounts can help improve profitability, and Computacenter uses those funds to reinvest in the business, which can help it win more business from customers.
“It will be much more difficult because we can offer more than just ship them a server. I can offer more thought leadership, stronger technical leadership and solution leadership in the changing environments we all face every day,” said he declared.
The introduction of AMD’s new Commercial Systems Partner Program comes more than a year after AMD CEO Lisa Su told CRN for her December 2020 cover story that the chipmaker was doubling its channel partners, which she considered the company’s “biggest growth opportunity”.
Since then, AMD has hired Richardson to lead a new partner organization and former Tech Data executive Marty Bauerlein to lead the VAR side of the business.
Richardson said the program, which is separate from AMD’s component channel program, said the global program kicks off with some of the largest VARs and domestic solution providers in North America. Of the program’s roughly 500 total partners worldwide, about a quarter are in North America, according to Richardson.
As AMD kicks off the program with a focus on large VARs and solution providers, Richardson said the chipmaker is trying to reach a larger roster of smaller partners through distributors.
“We want as many data center or customer-centric solution providers as possible to be aware of AMD and interested in selling AMD solutions to their customers,” said Richardson, who is attending the event. XChange from CRN’s parent company, The Channel Company, which runs February 27. March 1 this week. “So we’re very aggressive with our distributors, and part of the program for them is to help us bring AMD messaging capabilities to this very long list of value-added resellers in North America.”