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The channelADMIN FAQ

What is this FAQ thing for?

The channelADMIN Frequently Asked Questions list or FAQ is intended to address the most common questions that will come up for end users of channelADMIN.

Am I an "administrator"?

If you're reading this, you probably are! We use the term administrators or just admins to refer to our customer's staff who have a role in managing, overseeing, or contributing to the indirect sales channel. We use the term system admin to refer to an administrator that has special permissions to manage configuration of the channelADMIN software.

What exactly is a "partner"?

A partner is a downstream player in your sales channel, i.e. one of your dealers, distributors, VARs, reps, etc. In our system, a partner is a company. A partner company has one or more locations (offices) and each location can have multiple partner contacts (people).

What are "tags"?

Tags are like keywords that may be attached to different “objects” in the system. Tags provide a lot of flexibility in organizing your channel using the attributes that are important to your unique situation. For example, if some of your partners provide repair services and others don't, you could define the “repairs” tag and assign it to the appropriate partners. You can then find all the partners who do repairs by filtering on the “repairs” tag. Tags provide a simpler and more flexible alternative to the “user defined fields” used in some CRM systems.

In our system, the lists of allowable tags are maintained through the Channel Management menu. We currently have 4 different tag lists (or “buckets”) – Partner Tags, Location Tags, Contact Tags, and Admin Tags.

How can I use "partner tags"?

Partner tags can be used to assign attributes to individual partners at the company-wide (rather than location or contact) level.

One common need is to keep track of partner company type; you might define “distributor”, “VAR”, and “retail” tags.

If your partner program has multiple tiers, for example “Gold” and “Silver” tiers based on sales volume or other criteria, you could define “Gold” and “Silver” tags and assign them to your partners as appropriate.

What would I use "location tags" for?

Location tags can be used to track attrbutes specific to a partner office or location, such as product lines, vertical industries, specialties, or capabilities. Examples of location tags might include “networking”, “health care”, or “on-site repairs”

What's a system account?

Some administrators and partner contacts may be users of channelSUITE or other computer systems. You can use the System Account section to manage information such as their username, password, and access permissions.

What is the difference between "theaters", "regions", and "territories"?

Theaters and regions may be used to organize your channel according to a geographic hierarchy. A theater is typically very large (for example, “North America”) and may contain one or more region (for example “Northeast US”). Partner companies are assigned to theaters, and partner locations are assigned to regions.

A territory is an attribute of a specific partner location, and describes the geographic area serviced by the location. Different locations' territories may overlap. Territories may be used for purely informational purposes, but they may also be used to automate some processes when used in conjunction with other channelSUITE modules such as channelLEADS. Various optional methods of defining territories are available: by country, postal code, US state, etc.

What if I have a partner with locations in multiple theaters?

In our system, a partner can have locations in multiple regions, but all the partner's locations must be in the same theater. If you have a partner with locations in 2 theaters, you should define 2 separate partners (e.g. “ACME USA” and “ACME Europe”).

How can I get partner or admin contacts into my Outlook address book?

Use the ”vCard” icon next the contact's name in the partner or administrator contact list. If outlook is your default email program, clicking the icon will automatically fire up Outlook and insert the contact record. Otherwise choose “open with” Outlook.

How can I import contacts into some other email program?

Many email programs support vCard import, so save the vCard “vcf” file to your desktop and import it into your address book from inside your email program.

In Thunderbird, the easiest way to import vCards is to email the .vcf file to yourself as an attachment and click on the icon in the received email. Or, install the MoreFunctionsForAddressBook extension and use the “Addressbook/Tools/Actions for Contacts/Import from vCard” menu item.

I've been trying to use to manage my channel data. Can I get my data from Salesforce into channelAdmin?

Yes, we have an import function specifically for this purpose. An easy set-by-step process enables you to export contact data for partner companies, locations, and people from and then import it into channelAdmin.

What's the difference between "partner certifications" and "partner contact credentials"?

Certifications apply to companies (e.g. ISO-9001), while credentials apply to individuals (e.g. “Certified Network Engineer”).

Why don't I have permission to do X to partner Y?

The channelSUITE permission system uses two different components. The admin's permissions and partner scope are shown on the system account tab under the admin's detail page. Permissions answer the question “what is this administrator allowed to do?”. The admin's scope establishes associations between the admin and partner locations, and answers the question “who is this admin allowed to do things to”? If a permission requires scope (as indicated in the permission description), the admin can perform the referenced action only on partner locations that are in the admin's scope (see the next question).

So… if you don't have permission to do something, you need to ask the system admin to make sure that you have the required permission AND that the partner location is in your scope (if the required permission uses scope).

How does "Scope Assignment" work?

Typically each admin is associated with several locations (that's the admin's “scope”), and each location is associated with several admins. It would very tedious to make scope associations from the individual location or admin edit screens, so scope is managed using a special tool called Scope Assignment under the Administrators menu.

Scope assignment uses a 2-pane approach. First you produce a filtered list of partner locations using the filter functions in the Location pane, then select an admin in the Admin pane, and finally push the Assign or Unassign buttons. There's no harm if some of the associations are already assigned (or unassigned). Using this facility, scope can easily be assigned and reassigned based on geography, specialty, etc. It's also easy to reassign all of Joe's locations to Jane if Joe leaves the company.

What does the Quick Search do?

The Quick Search box found in the top right of every page searches over several object types and fields, including: partner name, location name, partner contact name and email address, administrator name and email address. Usually the quick search is the fastest way to get to a record if you already know something about it.

How do I delete a partner (or location, or contact)?

Are you SURE you want to do that? You should probably use the edit screen and change status to “inactive” instead. Using the inactive status allows you to answer questions like “what was the name of that guy who used to work in the Tulsa office?” in the future. We recommend that the only time you should actually delete anything is if you added it by mistake. Inactive records are usually not shown unless you specifically ask that they be shown via the filter settings on various screens.

How easy/difficult is it to reassign partners to different admins on my staff?

It's relatively easy. The “scope assignment” tool allows you to filter on partner names and their internally assigned admins, check off the partners that need to be reassigned, and select the new assignment.

channeladmin_faq.txt · Last modified: 2009/05/19 16:01 by anthony