IN THE HOT SEAT: Man of Integrity

IN THE HOT SEAT: Man of Integrity

With an army background and two decades of electronics and telecommunications experience, Glenn Britten is set to manage Integrity's wireless resellers in NSW, Queensland, ACT and New Zealand. High up on his list of priorities: to get the message across that the latest wireless technology can deliver a level of telecommunications functionality that previously required a carrier.

How did you get involved with Integrity?

Glenn Britten (GB): I've known of Integrity for five years through previous jobs. Integrity was in the spread spectrum and wireless LAN market and I was in a pre-sales role with AAP Communications Services and so had involvement with them there. That was where I first bumped into them. At AAP, I was involved with selling microwave radio networks to corporate enterprise and government.

What's your IT background?

GB: After AAP, I went to Scientific Atlanta for two years as a program manager, managing a satellite network rollout. From there, I went to Nortel for a year and became a victim of the downsizing. For the last three years I've been with NTL Telecommunications, which own and operate a microwave radio network along the East Coast from Cairns to Melbourne. My role was to sell wholesale bandwidth predominantly to other carriers, although our other market was broadcasters.

What are your duties in your Integrity role?

GB: I am replacing a channel manager that Integrity already had in NSW. For personal reasons, Tony Tilbrook had to take a more sedentary job that required less travel. My responsibilities are predominantly to manage the channel because while we are a value added distributor, we sell through resellers and accredited business partner channels. I want to support them and keep Integrity products and services at the front of their mind, and help them sell to their customers. Our partners are typically system integrators, small to medium-sized communications companies and engineering partners.

When did the company open up shop, and what product lines are available?

GB: Integrity Data Systems started as a value-added distributor. We sell vendors products, typically US or European in origin. We started in the wireless LAN market back in the mid-1990s. The company today has branched out into the wireless WAN markets and we have a lot of outdoor products, Ethernet licensed and unlicensed ones.

What product lines are available?

GB: We represent 12 vendors and there are about 50 or 60 product lines, supporting different niches in the market. There are five areas: wireless WAN (which are typically outdoor products: the high capacity or high availability carrier-grade licensed gear); wireless Link, which is IEEE lower end unlicensed gear; wireless LAN products (the indoor solutions); the LAN security and management area; and voice over wireless LAN, which is only a small part of our business at the moment, but it is growing.

With several hundred partners on the books, how do you work with the channel?

GB: There's a structured approach to how we service our resellers. The regular resellers are handled out of our Adelaide office via a sales and support role. The high dollar relationships come through (the business partners that have become accredited and trained) and get a lot more of our time. Typically, we help them sell the products and go in and meet the clients with them. We help with quotes and bids and with system design. We offer project management installation, hardware support, and handle all of their warranties.

What's the hot part of the market at the moment?

GB: The wireless WAN space, with its outdoor products, is a space Integrity sees a fair amount of potential and growth. The wireless WAN market is ideal for small and medium as well as large, corporate carriers. The technology makes sense for companies wishing to have more ownership, low ongoing costs, more flexibility, or perhaps they want to stack more bandwidth ISPs wanting to connect up some larger customers or companies moving offices and they need some temporary bandwidth are a few other areas of opportunity for us.

What's your channel strategy this year?

GB: My top goal is to tier our business partners. We have four levels in terms of dollar value. I'd like to identify candidates for each tier and bring them into that revenue bracket. Another top priority is to break into the carrier market for Integrity. We have a number of ways to do that. We can partner with our resellers where they have an aptitude for that. Or we can talk to the carriers directly, coming up with some agreement with our vendors because a lot of the bigger carriers all want to talk directly with vendors (so we could broker that).

How do you plan to add value to the channel?

GB: Integrity hasn't been known as just a box dropper as a distributors. We have typically provided a lot of marketing and sales support to our channels. But we want to take that a step further and start offering things such as installation of the solutions we're selling (we haven't typically done that), as well as offer project management, finance, and a deeper contact with their customers to help resellers close the sale, which in most cases is quite technical since many aren't experts in wireless.

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