Sybiz' distribution and reseller channel for NSW will undergo radical restructuring this month as the second stage of Sybiz' new nation-wide channel program is implemented.
Sybiz is in the process of appointing around 15 resellers in NSW to a new "solution provider" status. They will maintain a direct partnership with Sybiz, which will allow them to distribute the software to their own reseller networks.
Previously, Sybiz' 7000 nation-wide resellers worked under three distribution companies which had exclusive territory distribution rights in Australia. According to Mark Young, Sybiz' director of sales and marketing, the old system was adverse to competition, and the reseller base was too large for Sybiz to manage effectively.
Young said the new structure will increase sales by strengthening the distribution level, with solution providers now playing a key role in the provision of training and support for resellers and clients. He said training will be imperative in the new structure in order to maintain an informed and professional sales force, which Sybiz feels is required in the highly competitive accounting software market.
"We will be offering a range of courses on technical support and basic sales training for our solution providers, resellers and authorised support consultants," said Young. "One of our faults in the past has been that we've assumed they could sell, and a lot of them are just there because they were accountants or bookkeepers."
Under the new program, resellers will have a limited support capacity, relying on solution providers and a body of Sybiz "Authorised Support Consultants" (ASCs) to provide the level of technical expertise required for higher-end product support, installation and programming.
Existing Sybiz resellers have the option to approach any of the solution providers who, at their discretion, will appoint resellers to their networks.
John Ambados is director of Commercial Solutions, one of the resellers appointed to the solution provider status. "For us, what they are doing is formalising or recognising the resellers who do more than just sell the product," said Ambados. "The structure that they are putting in place now where a solution provider sells, supports, installs and trains, is what we have been doing in the marketplace for eight years." Ambados said Commercial Solutions will have 30 to 100 resellers in its network, and will be selective in which resellers it takes on.
To facilitate communication, a channel man-ager will be appointed in each state to represent Sybiz and ensure solution providers, resellers and ASCs are kept up-to-date and given a fair share of the sales leads received by Sybiz' marketing department. Solution providers will have access to marketing and technical product information and a hotline to provide support to their resellers.
"They are the people who will be selling the bulk of our software, we need to give them certain information and we need to make available the procedures," Young said.
According to Ambados, the increased communication is one of the advantages of the new structure. "I think that because we have day to day dealings with a number of clients in various industries, the feedback that we will be able to give Sybiz as to what the market requires will be more accurate than their research in the past."
Solution providers must sell a minimum of $20,000 Sybiz' software per annum, attend a five day Sybiz training course, and have MCSE or CNE qualified staff. In return, Young said solution providers will get the full 35 per cent margin on the entire range, be included in regular joint marketing activities and be entitled to a 5 per cent marketing development fund based on sales performance.
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