Unified AMD confident that partner scheme packs punch

Chip vendor admits former set-up made the channel’s life a misery

Tags: Advanced Micro Devices IncorporatedCPUGPUUnited Arab Emirates
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Unified AMD confident that partner scheme packs punch Sasa Marinkovic is confident that partners of all types will see the benefits of its Fusion Partner Programme after branding its previous partner schemes “messy”.
By  Andrew Seymour Published  January 17, 2010

AMD's recent step of consolidating its channel programmes into a single unified structure was a necessary move because its previous model was "making the lives of partners miserable", according to a senior official at the company's EMEA operation.

Speaking at the launch of the chip vendor's sub-US$100 ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics card in Dubai last week, Sasa Marinkovic, senior manager for product marketing EMEA, said the introduction of the Fusion Partner Programme - which blends together four previous schemes - had made it more compelling for partners to work with AMD.

"When you look at the channel and how we were working with our partners, we were making their lives really miserable," he admitted. "We had one programme for the GPU and another for the CPU, and we tiered them differently -it was messy."

The Fusion Programme is being phased in across all markets at the moment, with full global roll-out on track to be completed by the end of September. It is designed to provide partners with customised incentives and resources to drive sales, especially when selling all AMD CPU, GPU and chipset solutions.

The three-tiered scheme places partners into one of six business tracks, including retailers, commercial volume resellers and channel providers, to reflect the differing needs of the channel.

The programme also reinforces the message that AMD is a single organisation after its high-profile US$5.4 billion acquisition of ATI almost three years ago.

"We are at the point where there are no arguments [about whether] this is an AMD product or an ATI product - it is all one company," said Marinkovic. "It is one product group that delivers all the products, on laptops, on desktops, on servers, on notebooks. And we have one marketing organisation and one sales organisation and in 2010 we are going to start seeing the benefits of that."

Depending on their status in the Fusion Programme, AMD partners can now earn marketing development funds (MDFs) of up to 8% and cash rebates of up to 1.5%, according to regional channel manager Rami Al Saleh.

Al Saleh said that the migration of Middle East partners to the scheme was on schedule. "We have got almost 75% of the partners that we are targeting on board," he revealed.

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