Remote access networking vendor Shiva is about to get closer to its resellers, with the rollout of new initiatives designed to better educate them on how to sell the concept of remote access.
According to Steve Byatt, Shiva country man-ager for Australia, these initiatives include a new local Web site and the opportunity for resellers to invite Shiva staff to brief their clients.
Byatt says that at present many resellers aren't asking their clients the basic question of what they are seeking from remote access. He feels that for this reason many sales opportunities are missed.
"We're finding that resellers just want to come in and talk about a product," said Byatt, "and they haven't actually asked the customer what they are trying to do. They haven't asked what the business strategy is, where are they wanting to go, what type of applications they're running, how many users there are going to be?"
Shiva will add at least four people to its local operation in the next two quarters to assist in this education process, said Byatt. "They'll be sitting there with the account manager, who will now be able to ask some questions of remote access technology of the client, and he'll be able to know how to marry it all together with some technical expertise."
Byatt says he is not looking to reach every reseller with the new services, but is targeting around 400 network-dedicated resellers. The end result will be the creation of a tiered reseller program that combines premium VARs with an Advantage Partner Program to increase the technical competency within resellers.
Closing the loop
The new programs are a reflection of similar programs being rolled out in the US, but Byatt says they have been given added impetus locally by some phone calls he has received from users. "I get frustrated with users turning to me from all over this country, telling me of resellers not being able to give them the information they want," said Byatt.
"We're going to try to close that loop; when an end user asks a reseller for information they will get that either off the shelf or off our local Web site."
Byatt says he is also seeking to build reseller loyalty to Shiva, through assisting resellers to build their businesses. "We want to listen to the way that resellers want to head, and actually help them with marketing plans. We will actually come into their marketing department and given them a program, so they don't have to go off and create the wheel." Assistance will also come through marketing collateral and access to logos and funds.
Additionally, Byatt said Shiva will provide incentives for the particular people driving remote access business within reseller companies. "So we'll have individual incentives and recognition.
"And that once again is helping the bottom line of the company. It's getting involved with each particular company and making sure that they're making a reasonable profit with the Shiva product." Byatt said Shiva will also make available service programs and technology protection plans as value-added services that resellers can sell to clients.