Fed up with the lacklustre take-up of video solutions by both users and resellers, Madge Networks is taking it upon itself to champion the cause.
Users, particularly those in the medical and financial industries, are clamouring for video-based applications, according to Mike Beadsmoore, director of WAVE sales for the rest of the world. However, he believes the market has been stunted because resellers have been scared off by the perceived complexity of video solutions. Madge is aiming to rectify that with a program being launched for the first time in the world, in Australia.
"If this market is going to take off, someone has to kick-start it," said Beadsmoore.
"Resellers don't have the experience or expertise in video right now. So we're going to provide them with the initial consultancy they need to get up and running."
Madge will also bundle together its networking equipment, which includes an ISDN video gateway, with third-party or rebadged cameras and a video server, providing a one-stop shop for resellers.
"Whether we like it or not, we have to assume responsibility for the entire solution," Beadsmoore said. "We will guarantee the performance of the complete system."
While the program will not be up and running until early next year, Madge is already "fishing" for integration partners, said Ian Lisle, Madge's regional marketing manager, Asia-Pacific.
"We're looking for resellers with balls," he said.
"The reseller needs to be able to support the customer and give them the technical confidence they need in the solution. They can't just say sign here, drop the box and go."
Ideally, Madge is looking for Australian resellers and integrators with experience in both local area and wide area networks. Prior experience with video would also be an advantage.
Madge is confident the demand for multiservice networks and video applications is there. It has just completed a survey of Australia's top 1700 companies which showed that 10 per cent already used some kind of video, most typically videoconferencing, while another 38 per cent said they were interested in how they can use video in their business.
Madge claims this latest move is a "consolidation" of its strategy to bring together voice, video and data on a multiservice network. Its strategy has shifted only in that it's no longer focused on using ATM all the way down to the desktop.