Value-added distributor and messaging specialist Techex Communications has set up operation in Australia, with the aim of taking the high ground in what it says is an expanding and lucrative marketplace.
The company has been established for two years in the UK, and in that time has recorded growth of 400 per cent per annum. According to chief executive David Randall, the success in the UK has made international expansion a viable option.
And the reason for that success? Techex has never lost its focus of being a value-added distributor, said Randall.
"If you want to command a premium price and get good margins for what you do you need to be towards the leading edge of the technology," said Randall. "If you want to ensure leadership in a market you have to work with products which have a lot of growth potential left in them. Messaging today is in the same position that networking was back in 1986 - a huge growth opportunity.
"So if we're going to have a value-added model, we need to work with products during a phase in that lifecycle where we can have expertise and knowledge which is greater than further down the channel. The way we put it is, we love to have products and services that are about as user friendly as a cornered rat, as far as the end user sees it. In time, users won't see it that way, but at this moment in time messaging is a black art still. And we're here to overcome all that."
Techex's initial two offerings are an Internet and X.400 messaging product from US company ISOCOR, and networking connectivity products from Eicon Technology. Randall says the range will continue to expand, as Techex grows to provide complete messaging solutions to resellers.
But he says Techex will not rush to sign up every player in the market. "It's more important to say no than to say yes," said Randall. "And once you've got a reasonable coverage of products in your specialty, if you're going to take another on it can only be done if you identify which one you are going to drop."
Of greater importance to Techex is ensuring that opportunities exist for its resellers in the marketplace. "And the essential ingredient is a very strong demand creation unit," said Randall. "This means you go out and work in the corporate marketplace alongside the vendor's people, and you win the business with them. You can't just rely on the resellers to do that in their own right."
Randall said Techex intends to run a series of seminars and roadshows, tied in with shows such as Networld+Interop, to promote the company and attract resellers. He said that ideally Techex is trying to reach networking resellers with a high degree of proficiency.
"This is still a complex product, but there are no limits to who we will talk to, provided they have a focus on specific application areas in the market, and they can properly address the needs of the user," he said.
As for the products it will service, ISOCOR is relatively unknown to many resellers, with its products previously only available through Datacraft. While ISOCOR has grown from an X.400 background, director Aric Bendorf says it now has mature products that service Internet messaging as well.
As for whether one technology is better than another, he says this is very much up to individual needs.