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Schneider Electric enters new chapter as channel chief Joseph Vijay departs

Schneider Electric enters new chapter as channel chief Joseph Vijay departs

Launches new divisions focused on Edge computing, ET/OT and SMB, with Toni Mercado taking over leadership of the latter.

Joseph Vijay (Schneider Electric)

Joseph Vijay (Schneider Electric)

Credit: IDG

Schneider Electric is on the hunt for a new channel chief for the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific region as Joseph Vijay exits after three years. 

Vijay joined Schneider from NTT in July 2018 to serve as its new channel and alliance general manager, replacing Muralee Kanagaratnam who assumed a new regional role.

“We thank Joseph Vijay for his contribution to Schneider Electric over the last three years,” said Joe Craparotta, vice president of IT Business and Strategic Customer Segments. 

“We’re currently in the recruitment process for his successor to build on the solid foundation Joseph and the team has created.” 

Vijay's departure comes as the vendor embarks on a company-wide restructure, which will see the creation of three new business units and a host of new initiatives aimed at the channel. 

This primarily will take the form of a new Edge team, which will consist of sales and technical experts spanning both end-user and channel accounts. 

“Edge computing is reshaping the IT world. Businesses have prioritised digital transformation for many years now, but at Schneider Electric we have noticed the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital adoption and deployment,” said Craparotta.

“Our team is primed with a 100 per cent channel-first mandate to ensure we are the technology partner of choice for our customers to build, implement and service their Edge solutions.” 

According to Schneider, the new structure will ensure the company is “even more agile in supporting and resourcing [its] distribution, channel, alliances and end-user ecosystem”.  

Broken down, the new structure will see Schneider “work collaboratively” with partners to be the “aggregator and integrator” of technology solutions for the customer.  

“We will continue to invest in our sales and channel resources, but the reality is that our teams have been operating across channel and end-user for some time as a natural evolution of the value we bring to the channel,” a spokesperson for the vendor said. 

“This structure provides more subject matter experts for our channel to leverage off to their end-user customers and when we combine this with our recent pre-sales certification program, our market-leading channel program, our deal registration program and our online partner tools, the channel has access expert resources when and where required.” 

The Edge unit will sit alongside a unit dedicated to small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which will be led by newly promoted Schneider business development manager Toni Mercado.  

According to the vendor, the small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) market represents the “engine room” of the Australian economy and accounts. 

“We understand that the SMB market has specific needs, and we see it is our vendor responsibility to support them to achieve the best business outcome,” the spokesperson said. 

In addition, Schneider will also leverage a unit dedicated to operational technology, which, under the APC brand, covers products for data centre and industrial edge applications. 

The creation of this division follows the appointment of MM Electrical Merchandising (MMEM) as a new distributor for the Secure Power division of Schneider Electric Australia. 

To support this unit, the company has appointed 3M’s Gabriella Sarnelli to serve as its ET/OT partner manager. She will be tasked with working with MMEM to “drive awareness and demand generation across targeted segments”. 

The new company structure will soon be followed by the launch of a partner program targeting managed service providers (MSP), which will focus on Edge software and services. 

According to Schneider, the program will focus on how partners can “bring value software and services value add, the offered model can be a ‘you do it yourself’ or ‘we do it for you’ based on their business need”. 

In addition, the vendor also plans to launch a new group called the IT Solutions Expert Club, an enablement and loyalty program for the technical community in the channel. 

This will include access to events, webinars workshops and roundtables, plus in-depth technical information, training and tools. 

“At Schneider Electric, meeting our customers’ and partners’ expectations is our key priority,” the spokesperson said added. 

“Together, we have learnt a lot over the past months living with COVID-19, and wherever we operate, our teams are empowered to do their best and continue to adapt to local changes and requirements.” 


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