I was encouraged to see that Huawei had a proper track session on its channel strategy during its 10th Global analyst summit in Shenzhen.  The track is another sign that the company’s enterprise division is maturing and taking the right steps to expand its activities in China as well as globally.

In 2012, Huawei recruited 1,289 distributors, VAPs, and tier 2 channel partners to reach around 3,789 worldwide, which represents growth of 52% in China, Europe, and 26 other key countries globally.  Huawei’s enterprise share of channel sales was around 55% (excludes Operator resale) of its total revenue in 2012, a 32% revenue growth through channels from 2011. Huawei is also starting to build its services and software ecosystems with 700 authorized service partners and 200 ISVs. 

Overall, three key things that stood out to me about Huawei’s partner programs are:  

  • A more structured and well-defined partner program: The partner program has evolved considerably since last year and Huawei is working towards mapping its key accounts and streamlining the account management process.  Through the segregation of 5000+ named accounts (key accounts based on deal size) and defining the customer engagement model for high value accounts, Huawei can bring about the clearer channel architecture that will be required to build an open and successful channel ecosystem.
  • Improved partner tools and processes: Partnerstoday need much better access to information and analysis, sales support tools, and transparency with vendor processes.  In the last one year, Huawei has launched various tools for partners including configuration and quotation tools, network migration assets, a ROI/ TCO calculator, partner relation management tools, and e-learning resources. Huawei must continue to invest in this area, especially around marketing enablement tools for its partners.
  • A better-defined ICT services portfolio for partners:  This year, Huawei also unveiled a clearer and better-defined services resale strategy.  Huawei plans to collaborate with its partners through its Unified ICT services model which includes professional services, support services and learning services. The program will be an added revenue stream for Huawei partners and an opportunity to increase their margins.

Overall, Huawei’s partner strategy is evolving in the right direction. However, it will need to continuously look beyond its strengths in China and learn the local culture and partner ecosystems of each country in order to make further gains. A strong focus on investing in local skills and continued effort to elevate process openness and transparency will be key areas I’ll check back in on in 2014.