Bringing order to dysfunction and chaos

Asian markets are not an amorphous mass--the region is fragmented into different markets with a broad spectrum of cultures and characteristics unique to their locale. Markets can be quite parochial, and running intelligent channel management programs across the region can be difficult.

The challenge is to efficiently and effectively deploy limited resources across the region while still managing to meet the expectations of the corporate head office. This frustration is felt across many market sectors, and it is an area that certainly impacts the IT sector.

Markets are usually set up individually, and a country manager may implement a reseller channel strategy because it's less risky, then try to create mindshare for their product by running a channels incentives program that is very market-specific. Very often these programs are managed successfully in-country, but when companies start to regionalize their organizational structure, that often leads to disparate and disorganized programs across the region that suck up vast amounts of time and money. Great for the agencies they employ, but not so great for the vendor's bottom line.

End-user impact

Does any of this sound familiar? Many employees of IT vendors in Asia are likely nodding their heads. Quarterly goals are a mainstay of the industry, and this short-sightedness often means expenditures constrict as the need for revenue increases.

End-users should also be concerned, because the waste and ineffectiveness of some of these short-term programs means that they ultimately will pay for it. Whether through higher pricing, lower customer service, or the ultimate result (the outright withdrawal of a vendor from the region), it's much harder to get good customer support from a different time zone.