Seagate looks to standardise its channel

Hard drive vendor, Seagate, will spend the next few months evaluating the after-sales service levels provided through its Australian channel partners.

The initial review is expected to be completed by June and will include customer surveys. If the vendor is unhappy with what it finds, customers will be provided with a list of those resellers and distributors that have been meeting service level agreements.

One of the main ways Seagate will look for channel partners to improve the service offered to customers will be through collaboration.

“For example, an end user buying from reseller A may decide he wants to go to reseller B for service,” Seagate senior director of field application engineering, CY Bek, said.

“Right now they might not be entertained, because they haven’t bought from that reseller, but we have agreed they will provide service in future for a minimum handling charge.”

Bek said standardised extended warranties would also be established to minimise customer confusion.

The local review is part of a global initiative to improve aftersales service levels and includes the establishment of SeaCare centres in less developed markets like India and China.

“We felt there was no need to establish a SeaCare Centre in Australia because the channel in this market has a good structure that is well run by our distributors,” Bek said.

“But improved service levels would benefit everyone because it builds brand loyalty and generates increased sales for Seagate, our distributors and resellers.”

Seagate’s Australian distributors – Achieva, Synnex and Ingram Micro – had all signed a memorandum of understanding with the vendor, Bek said.

“We want to standardise the level of service end users can expect whenever they are dealing with a Seagate partner,” he said. “For competitive reasons, some partners may choose to beat those expectations.”

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