Perhaps better known for its modem distribution business, Tecksel is set to launch its next growth stage by distributing the Netgear range of small business networking products from Bay Networks.
Bay Networks national channel manager Martin Christmas says that because 60 to 70 per cent of Netgear's revenue will come through those smaller resellers, finding a distributor that spoke their language was important.
"We felt that in terms of understanding what we wanted to do with the product, Tecksel probably presented to us the most comprehensive business plan. And they were able to demonstrate to us that they understood what we wanted to do with the product."
Tecksel's national operations manager, Mark Kofahl, says Australia has a particularly high penetration of small businesses, currently serviced by a large number of smaller resellers, upon which the success of Netgear is hinged. "And this is where Tecksel specialises in distribution and providing expertise," he said. "There are several thousand small resellers across Australia, and there will be fantastic opportunities for them to diversify out of PCs, into something that they can reap very healthy margins from - healthier than most other products." Bay is offering at least 30 point margins on all Netgear products.
Kofahl says taking on the Netgear distribution represents a substantial commitment from Tecksel, albeit a necessary one if the company is to continue to grow. He said it is now looking to relocate to larger premises, and will also expand its presence in the Queensland marketplace.
To spread the Netgear message to the masses Tecksel has launched a two-phase campaign. The first phase involves training up resellers in the concept of networking and how to sell it.
"A large percentage of our work with the Netgear range will be teaching resellers that are scared of networks," said the Tecksel director John Wain. "Education reduces that fear, therefore it enables them to sell what is essentially a vital product whose time has now come in the market."
But while generating interest from resellers is one thing, Kofahl realises that unless Netgear and Tecksel work on creating demand the whole project will collapse. Hence the second phase will involve media campaigns designed to generate end-user and small business awareness of the products and their benefits. This will involve advertising in non-IT press such as small business magazines and association journals, as well as educational seminars.