Del Heles founded Computer Market Research in 1984. With over 30 years of providing channel services to companies like Acer America, Samsung and Fujitsu, Del is unparalleled in his knowledge and expertise in the industry. His passion and dedication to helping channel businesses proves to be an invaluable resource to building a successful channel strategy.
Headquartered in San Diego, California, Computer Market Research, Ltd. (CMR) delivers cost effective, web-based applications and services to channel vendors across the globe. CMR aims to assist manufacturers in managing channel data, optimizing trade promotions, and maximizing the effectiveness of indirect sales channels.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk a bit about the art and importance of cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship between vendor and partner?
Del: I will start with the selection of the term “Channel Partner”, this in itself evokes a relationship that should be mutually beneficial to both parties we have seen over the years that the relationships that are truly mutually beneficial tend to grow and both parties tend to prosper more.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are some common obstacles you see businesses face when it comes to managing indirect channels and how can they be avoided?
Del: Indirect channels are extremely complex networks which can include thousands of channel partners. When observing the industry, one of the biggest obstacles we notice is channel management via spreadsheets, phones, and fax machines. These manual processes are extremely tedious and are not capable of efficiently managing these large networks. That is the reason why Computer Market Research is focused with educating businesses on the power of web-based channel programs, and providing them with the software solutions to make it happen.
BusinessInterviews.com: What are your thoughts on the trend of gamification?
Del: I’m optimistic on the future of gamification – it’s a successful strategy that positively impacts real business objectives while creating a friendly user experience. Some companies might have a bad experience by “cutting and pasting” game mechanics into their platform and hoping for the best. However, if you can maintain and improve your game as it evolves, then it’s one of the better business strategies out there.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Del: We got caught up in a large project for a very large industry player, the monthly fee would have exceeded $50,000 per month. We started the pilot for the prospect and were told after the first month that we were the preferred vendor. The pilot dragged on and we continued to be the preferred vendor. We finally addressed all of the client issues (at an $80,000 expense to CMR) and were told that we would be issued the contract the following Wednesday. On the Monday before we were to receive the contract the parent company laid-off over 50% of the staff and we put a halt on all projects. We were still told that this was only a delay. We never got the contract but eventually ended up doing business with some of the people that were laid-off and went to other companies.
BusinessInterviews.com: Congratulations on celebrating the impressive milestone of your 30th year in business. How has your definition of success changed or evolved since first launching back in 1984?
Del: Success in the beginning was being able to pay the rent and buy food. Today it is about designing new solutions to help our clients solve problems and operate more efficiently. Success is growing the talent of our staff so that they can understand the business better and start a career in “Channel Management”.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you share why you’re so excited to be offering your new software solutions, PartnerPortal & MioDatos?
Del: We’ve found that most of the channel partners we work with do not have the time, resources, or experience to effectively manage their channel programs. PartnerPortal lessens this burden by being one of the most user-friendly software platforms available. The drawback of our previous platform was the amount of custom development time required to configure the back-end rules within a channel program. Through PartnerPortal, users themselves can easily customize back-end rules, user interfaces, and online forms, without the need for developers. We’re extremely excited to be completely changing the way our clients manage their channel programs.
MioDatos is an exciting new web-based software that will help channel companies create impressions for marketing their products. At the core of MioDatos is the concept of Synchronized Channel Marketing (SCM). MioDatos offers channel partners a one-stop-shop for email marketing, social media marketing, contact management, and referral management. Not to mention, we’re nearly finished with adding a gamification feature to the platform.
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