-- In line with a worldwide initiative, telecommunications equipment provider Alcatel Australia has established a national reseller network for its voice communications products that cater for small to medium enterprises.
Previously, Alcatel only sold such PABX systems to major telecommunications companies like Telstra under the Commander brand.
Alcatel's offerings in the highly competitive SME market include voicemail, computer telephony integration (CTI) and digital enhanced cordless telephony (DECT) handsets. Alcatel's channel marketing manager, John Lagos, said the reseller network targets customers with the need for up to 100 extensions.
The move away from Telstra to the channel in this market means Alcatel has had to appoint resellers with the capability of providing technical support. This is the key to the business. The appointed resellers provide a complete voice communication solution, including maintenance, so profitability is as much or more through technical support as sales of new systems.
Lagos said, "Our aim is to avoid channel conflict and dealers are appointed on a regional basis." To date, Alcatel has appointed 30 resellers and has the need for another six in selected centres.
"We are trying streamline their business interaction with us by the use of the Web for ordering, training, manuals, brochures and new product releases," he added.
Director of sales at National Telecoms Group (NTG), George Tawaf, said: "We're very excited about the Alcatel products, primarily because of the commitment shown by Alcatel management towards the dealers and the Australian market."
According to Lagos, Alcatel's own telemarketing team support the resellers by the passing on of "sub-100 extension sales leads." The network is also contracted to provide regional maintenance for Alcatel's large corporate customers.
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