Interview with Alessandro Maloberti, Partner Ecosystem Director, STMicroelectronics
The ST Partner Program provides potential customers with fast identification and introductions to trusted partners who are able to supply expertise to the customers’ critical design projects. We launched the program to help customers’ design teams access extra skills, products, and services to shorten their time-to-market for new products by aiding engineering development.
For ST, the Partner Program enhances the ecosystem around our broad portfolio of products, offering market-leading integrated solutions to customers and gives greater visibility to our partners
Customers and potential customers can easily identify approved Program members with the appropriate competencies for their projects. These competencies can be in cloud services, associated components or modules, embedded software, engineering services, development tools, or training services. For ease-of-use, we’ve centralized this information in a dedicated partner area on the ST website at www.st.com/partners.
A complete framework covering technical, marketing, legal, and business aspects protects partners and ensures high service quality for customers.
What is the mechanism to identify the compatible partners?
In this first deployment phase, we’re encouraging potential partners to apply to join the ST Partner Program via their established ST contacts or via web registration. Once we have the application, our technical and marketing team review each submission. We have defined a set of rules and a review process that we apply for each new partner in order to ensure that they meet our technical, marketing, and business targets, including that they are committed to offering consistently high-quality services.
Membership to the program is granted for one year only in order to make sure we maintain our high quality standards.
What are the provisions for the selected partner?
The ST Partner Program aims at strengthening the relationships between ST and the third-party companies that participate in the program.
First, we provide a space on the st.com web site with dedicated pages for the Partner Company to introduce itself, its value-add and to describe their products and services.Moreover some of the partner products are now directly connected to ST Product and Application pages providing them even greater exposure to the visitors or our web site
Then, we give them permission to use the ST Partner Program logo and communication materials to promote themselves.
We have opened a dedicated partner area in our ST Community to allows partners to directly answer questions of community members,
Soon we will launch a dedicated partner sub-channel on ST’s YouTube channel, where the partner can addvideos, and they can already post appropriate articles on the ST Blog (blog.st.com).
Social media campaigns are already in place to promote the ST Partner program as well as special achievements from our partners.
On the technical side, we’ve built the Partner Program to include benefits like enhanced technical support and dedicated training sessions from ST maximizing use of digital communications –
Going forward, ST will introduce more ways for its partners to engage, including co-marketing activities, sharing design opportunities, training, and networking events.
A Win-Win-Win for customers, Partners, and ST, the Partners get great exposure to ST’s global customer base of engineers and purchasers from leading high-tech brands, manufacturing-service providers, and independent engineers and designers.
We are also working on new business models that will reward partner companies and generate additional business for STto help future funding of the program.
Elaborate on the benefits offered to the partnering companies.
At ST we believe that we must provide more than just a semiconductor component to our customers. This statement becomes even truer in a very fragmented market the explosion of new applications around the IoT and because of the strategic importance of the mass-market for supporting long-term sustainable growth at ST. We offer complete support to help them move quickly from their idea to their end product. We recognize that the right ecosystem, which includes both ST and our partners, helps our customers to be successful. And our customers’ success is beneficial to all of us.
We will promote the partners that are part of our ecosystem and our partners will promote and support our products to the end customers,
What is your ST’s long term vision for this initiative?
ST has a focus on creating products and solutions to address end markets such as the IoT or the Industrial market. This means creating state-of-the-art devices that customers can use to create their own products and to offer an ecosystem of multiple companies to support the customer in all phases of the development lifecycle, from their idea to the end solution. ST providesmany of the pieces of the entire solution but by helping the customer connect all of the dots, we increase the customers’rate of success in their developments. The creation of this ecosystem of companies that helps to create an end-to-end solution is the best way to expand our customer base.
And at the same time, as the customer base grows, it is clear that ST cannot support every customer by itself. So this extended ecosystem of partners works for a common shared goal and helps reach and support all customers.
What may be the challenges and how do you plan to tackle them?
The creation of a large ecosystem where we control only part of the overall process requires a cultural shift inside every large organization.We are working to increase awareness and make sure the whole of the company is aligned to accelerate the adoption of this new culture of welcoming and sharing customers with partners. We’re also finding opportunities to create new business models where revenues are sometime shared with Partners, which require us to review legal, process, and accounting approaches. This Partner program is clearly winning very strong momentum internally, through the entire company, with full support by senior management and echoing extremely well from all the ST people attending awareness sessions on this program, and externally,with enthusiastic partner candidates and customers, so we are confident that we will be able to address these challenges.
What is the funding model of the initiative?
The program is part of our global market initiative aimed to increase our customer base and the overall program is currently managed within the budget of these corporate projects. In the long run, the program is intended to be funded by the additional business that it will generate.