Samsung to separate from GVI distribution relationship

Dec. 17, 2010 -- Frank De Fina, Samsung senior vice president of sales and marketing, announced today that Samsung Techwin America will be dropping GVI Security as its master distributor as of Jan. 1, 2011. Previously, distribution of Samsung's electronic security products was fed through GVI Security, rather than directly from Samsung to distribution houses and systems integrators.

"We want to be an integral part of our channel partners’ business strategy," De Fina said. "We want to earn the business by investing resources at the channel level to drive sales to distributors and systems integrators."

The move comes as no surprise; rumors of the forthcoming dissolution have circulated in the last few months. In the last year, GVI Security -- while serving as Samsung's distributor -- has been in the process of developing its own video surveillance product line with the AutoIP family of surveillance cameras, recorders and video management software.

In an interview with SecurityInfoWatch, De Fina noted that the relationship ended very amicably and that the timing was good for both companies.

The distribution and channel relationships will be handled directly from inside the company at their home base in Ridgefield Park, N.J. De Fina added that this does not signal a slow-down for the company, and that Samsung will continue to expand its security product lines.

De Fina said that this was not the kind of change that simply happens at a flip of a switch; he noted that Samsung will be working to build strong channel relationships. "I’m willing to make investments with the distributors and the channel to really get them excited about the product and to differentiate ourselves from other competitors. We will co-invest with distributors on promotions and channel investments, including participation in their sales promotion events. Training is certainly going to be a component [of this investment]."

De Fina said the company is in the process of establishing in-house sales experts who can work with systems integrators on projects that use Samsung products.

"We have always sold directly to systems integrators," De Fina explained. "We’re not worried about where they buy; we’re just as happy if they buy from a distributor. What we’re interested in is co-developing projects on behalf of the integrators."

De Fina said that the move to dissolve the relationship as of the first of the year would bring the company strong partnerships.

"I think it brings us closer to our customers on a daily basis. It’s not a matter of re-developing an entire channel. It’s a matter of creating a more direct route to our partners."