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Rockwell revamps its partner programme

01 October, 2000

Rockwell revamps its partner programme

Following a study of end-user needs, Rockwell Automation has revamped its System Integrator scheme to allow its customers to outsource activities such as project management and training, and thus to focus on their core businesses.

The new scheme, called the Solution Provider programme, is a global initiative. In the UK, Rockwell has signed up 34 participants so far, using stringent selection criteria.

"Many of our customers are looking for a more comprehensive package of services," explains Joe Lupone, Rockwell`s UK sales director. "They want supplier partners that can provide project management as well as training and installation."

He says that the System Integrator programme "needed to move to the next level to reflect our world-class status and global market access". By establishing the new group of specialised suppliers, "the programme has become more focused, more powerful and more productive".

There are two categories of solution provider - technology and applications - and these are split further into areas of specialisation such as drive systems, motion systems and SCADA.

The technology specialists are experts in applying automation hardware and software and implementing systems requiring close co-ordination of different technologies. As well as deploying motion and drive control, they can handle discrete and batch control.

The application specialists are experts in areas such as process control and manufacturing software at all levels of an organisation. They will focus on vertical markets.

• Rockwell`s US share price plunged by more than 20% in one day last month after the company warned that earnings in the coming financial year were likely fall below earlier forecasts. Rockwell places much of the blame on delayed ordering by US car-makers which account for about 25% of its control system sales. It also blamed the weak Euro, the impact of acquisitions and joint ventures, and shortages of electronic components and displays. Rockwell chief executive Don Davis said that "we are taking a series of actions to combat these very difficult market conditions," but emphasised that the company was continuing to invest in new product development. He reported that early results from Rockwell`s recent reorganisation to focus on areas of potentially higher growth were "positive".

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