Vendor focus

Streamlining for success

OmarOmar Fakhri, Head of Sales, Middle East and Africa (MEA), AMD, communicates the company’s approach to simplify the business for partners and customers alike.

When Lisa Su, CEO and President of AMD took over the company’s reins last October, she had a two-pronged focus in mind. The first was to work a lot closer with customers and partners and to understand their business better while leveraging their interaction and reach within the next tier down.

Omar Fakhri, Head of Sales, Middle East and Africa (MEA), AMD, says, “For AMD, it is all about utilising our partners, their reach and expertise to understand how we can work together to go to the market and develop the business.

The second focus was to simplify the business.“We are streamlining our systems and have also simplified our partner programme. This is enabling us to become a lot more responsive and reactive to our partners and to the market.”

The company has announced enhancements to its AMD Partner Programme (APP) in the first half of this year. The changes largely revolve around reducing the number of tiers from four to two, in sync with its overall aim to simplify the business.

“We have also simplified the way the partner programme is rolled out to make it easier for partners to understand the advantages. One of the challenges we have faced in the past is that even though we have a really good partner programme, partners haven’t really understood how they can maximise their business to get the most amount of rebates and benefits.”

Through these enhancements, the company is able to update its partners on a regular basis and have a visible overview of partners’ performance at any point within the quarter.

Another challenge Fakhri notes is that the business is quarter-end driven, which means majority of the selling happens in the last two weeks of the quarter.

“To avoid this, we are offering frequent benefits to incentivise partners and spread their business evenly across the quarter. This is not only good for us but also for our distribution partners because they can then manage their inventory better. This means everyone can manage their business a lot more efficiently.”

Within the APP, there are two levels of partnership – Select and Elite. Elite partners include systems builders or sub-distribution partners, and they receive rebates based on volumes and targets. While Select partners are more about providing information.

He says, “Select partners have access to our portals, which have detailed information about current products, new releases and launches. We have also made this easier to access.”

In terms of markets, we will see the vendor paying closer attention to countries such as Egypt and South Africa. “We are observing a lot of interest from consumers in Egypt, particularly on the component business. The Egyptian consumers are well-educated about technology and are clear of what they require.

“We are also focusing more on South Africa and have been developing the business with partners. In terms of ROI, UAE has always been a good market for us.”

Over the course of next few months, the company is focused on stabilising and growing its core PC business, which primarily includes desktop and notebook processors and chipsets, discrete GPUs, and professional graphics.

“We are continuously working with our partners in the region to help them grow and prosper with AMD’s broad, industry-leading technology portfolio. With this is the ongoing development of the APP, which has been simplified in line with our CEO Lisa Su’s strategy of simplifying the business and enabling the company to have closer relationships with partners and customers,” Fakhri adds.

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