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September 2011  
In This Issue
Industry Issue
Government Affairs
Quarterly Meeting Highlights
AGMA in the News
Upcoming Events
Quick Links


Stay tuned for the next issue of Brand Sentinel

where we'll spotlight trends, issues and more news from AGMA!


Click here to view the June issue of Brand Sentinel.

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AGMA Committees - What's New?


 Education and Programs Committee: 

Dolby's Peter Hlavnicka has been appointed chair of this committee, which is currently in the planning stages. Peter is actively recruiting members. 









AGMA bids a fond farewell to our President, Ram Manchi. Having accepted an early retirement offer from Cisco starting August 1st, Ram is no longer employed by an AGMA member company and, as such, has tendered his resignation as President and Director.


Ram was first elected AGMA's President in July of 2007, while serving as a board member since 2004. We wholeheartedly thank Ram for leading the organization in increasing awareness and visibility of the issues surrounding gray market and counterfeiting, and for evangelizing the awareness of service and warranty fraud as one of the key triggers of gray market activity.


Ram's dedication and advocacy of the AGMA mission over the years has been invaluable. Consequently, the Board of Directors has invited him to hold the position of President Emeritus. Ram has accepted, and the organization will continue to benefit from his extensive knowledge and experience.


Industry Issue: Pricing and the Gray Market

At a time when exchange rates are fluctuating rapidly, paying close attention to pricing is more important than ever. Significant swings in the exchange rate make it difficult to keep pricing in synch - and can lead to pricing arbitrage, which in turn fuels the gray market. Gray marketing often originates with authorized distributors that may be (directly or indirectly) exploiting vendors' variable product pricing or discounting and other incentive programs in order to gain an unfair price advantage. 


According to AGMA's Peter Hlavnicka the most common pricing weaknesses exploited by gray marketers are: Over-discounted buys, products sold in developing markets, discounted or free software licenses in a 'try and buy' scenario, products destined and priced for export, and excess inventory, aged, or manufacturer- discontinued products. A good pricing strategy and process can help prevent or contain the price arbitrage that triggers gray market speculation.



 Government Affairs - In Focus

AGMA's Government Affairs Committee continues to play an active role in helping to shape public policy and raise awareness - and the fight against IP infringements is once again front and center on the national stage. Legislation designed to help prevent the sale of counterfeits to the military by cracking down on traffickers has been introduced, and AGMA feels feels that the introduction of the "Combating Military Counterfeits Act of 2011" is a big step forward in elevating the importance of IP issues to a national audience.


According to committee chair Scott Olsen, "The widespread and ever-increasing availability of counterfeit products poses a serious threat to our national security. This critical legislation will help protect our troops from counterfeit material that can find its way into body armor, vehicle parts, or military computers, by targeting those who traffic in such goods. The bill would create an enhanced offense and raise the statutory maximum penalty for counterfeit traffickers who know that the counterfeit product they sell is intended for use by the military.  The brave men and women of our Armed Forces who are serving in dangerous locations overseas shouldn't have to worry about the authenticity of their equipment, and this legislation helps toward this goal."



 Quarterly Meeting Highlights

AGMA recently held its quarterly member meeting to discuss various topics related to brand protection issues.  Hosted by APC by Schneider Electric in Newport, R.I., examples of real-life scenarios involving the defense of intellectual property rights were provided by representatives from AGMA member companies and members of law enforcement.


One such presentation focused on the importance of keeping counterfeit parts out of the government supply chain. Counterfeit parts contaminate the market with substandard devices that often fail and may cause injuries or other damages. Thus, the United States is highly motivated to prevent counterfeit parts from entering the Federal government's marketplace and infrastructure. Inspector general Brian Miller was on hand at the meeting to discuss his office's wide range of activities - GSA, as the procurement arm of the Federal government, is heavily involved in purchasing information technology and other products for use across the government. Miller spoke to the importance of effectively indentifying counterfeit suppliers through investigations.


Also on hand to speak to AGMA members in attendance were:

  • Ben Smith, vice president of global sales and channel operations for host company APC by Schneider Electric. Smith started off the conference with a presentation that detailed his company's Channel Insight program.
  • Scott Garland, AUSA for the District of Massachusetts. Garland reviewed a case in which AGMA member company EMC had been a victim of equipment theft by employees - and cooperated in the successful prosecution of the perpetrators.
  • Therese Randazzo, Director of IPR Policy and Programs for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who gave a presentation focused on the importance of establishing more effective border enforcement.

 Please click here for more information on the meeting.



AGMA in the News

Looking for insight into the recent whitepaper on channel incentive abuse with Deloitte, channel insider Larry Walsh of Channelnomics chatted with AGMA's Scott Olsen.  Read the full story here: Channel Incentive Programs Fall Short


In an article titled 'Channel Program Abuse Costs Vendors 1.4 Billion,' CRN's Scott Campbell also took a closer look at AGMA's joint whitepaper with Deloitte. Representatives from both organizations were interviewed, and you can read the final piece here: Channel Program Abuse Costs Vendors $1.4 Billion In Profit



Upcoming Events


AGMA APAC Conference - September 8 at HP in Singapore


AGMA Americas Quarterly Meeting - October 19-20 at Avaya in Denver, CO 


AGMA EMEA Conference - November 17 at PwC in London