In an attempt to better manage its 9000 strong reseller channel, drive manufacturer Iomega last week launched its reseller Web site for the Asia-Pacific region.
It is the first of its kind in the region, and the most comprehensive Iomega site in the world according to Peter Dawson, Iomega's country manager, Australia/NZ. The password-pro-tected site will provide resellers with access to marketing and sales tools, technical support, product information and pricing, promotional offers, case studies and general information on how to deal with Iomega.
`It's always been a battle to communicate with our channel because we have such a big marketplace and so many resellers,' said Dawson.
The US-hosted Web site is an `ideal' solution because not only does it reach everyone, it reaches them all the time.
`The reseller is now as close to where we are as possible, which reduces the time lag between us introducing and communicating anything new and when the channel wakes up to it,' said Dawson.
`Its critical to us that the reseller knows what's going on so they can take advantage of all the promotions we offer. Increased awareness is directly related to increased sales,' continued Dawson.
The Web initiative follows on from a mailing campaign Iomega began last year called Hot Stuff. This involved the bi-monthly mailing of a newsletter to about 15,000 resellers, which included promotional material and new product information.
`We found it was only getting to one or two people in a reseller organisation and wasn't getting there frequently enough,' said Dawson. `Resellers don't get any competitive advantage through this when the life cycle of technology is so short.'
With such a vast web of partners to organise and cater for, Iomega's biggest problem was designing the site to suit everyone's needs.
`It is a failing of a lot of Web developers to create a site from their own perspective rather than the users'. So our goal was to make the site as simple to use and navigate as possible,' explained Dawson.
Additionally the site incorporated tools that the resellers had previously demanded, such as advertising and catalogue images and tools to train sales teams.
It took the Iomega team four months to include all the ideas they had received from resellers into the design concept and a further three months for advertising firm Euro RSCG to develop the site.
The same feedback process will dictate the future development of the site, with resellers expressing an interest in self teach resources and `maybe a bit more interaction with distributors' sites so resellers can find out what inventory they've got without leaving the Iomega site.'