Communications integrator, Damovo, has flown in its 50 Australian channel partners to an event in Canberra to discuss how best to tackle the burgeoning Voice over IP (VoIP) market.
Damovo, spun out of Ericsson corporate networks in 2001, has spent the last 12 months expanding its product portfolio by adding additional vendors into its mix. As well as distributing and providing services around Ericsson business communication products, Damovo now distributes and integrates products from VoIP vendors Mitel and Samsung and wireless vendor, PacLink.
Damovo is providing education and resources to its channel partner base around communications convergence in order to arm itself against the many networking vendors that have a close eye on Damovo’s customer base.
Companies such as Cisco and Alcatel are banking on VoIP, and the replacement of legacy PABX voice systems among enterprise customers, as the best potential market for growth.
Damovo, through its Ericsson heritage, claims to maintain the largest PABX client base in the country – and all of these clients could arguably be considered prime candidates for a network refresh.
“I say, bring it on,” Damovo channel manager, Andrew Kneebone, said in relation to the competition being posed by data networking vendors. “We’ll meet you in the marketplace.”
While Damovo has a direct sales force that sells products and services into large organisations, the company also sees value in a channel sales model.
From a sales perspective, Damovo sells direct to its top 450 clients, and leaves the channel the remainder. But in terms of fulfilment, the boundaries are less clear.
Kneebone said that dealers tended to sell Damovo’s equipment and packaged services (such as maintenance) to the customer. Damovo then provided help desk and remote support, while the reseller provided field support.
The way in which Damovo and its dealers approach services was often based on geography, he said.
In metropolitan centres such as Sydney and Melbourne, both Damovo and its dealer partners hadfeet on the ground, and therefore tended to service the customer jointly. In regional areas, Damovo tended to leave such work to the partner.
Kneebone said that partners are being educated on the opportunity VoIP presents.
“We have a once in twenty year technology gap to fill – all of our customers are asking for more information on Voice over IP and we have to share that with our partners,” he said.
Damovo expects to maintain its large client base due to the legacy of long and successful relationships with customers.
“It is all about relationships at the end of the day,” Kneebone said.
“The real value comes not from the technology, but from solving business problems," sales development manager for Damovo, Phillip Hayes, said. "We are focused on business outcomes, not hanging a box on the wall.”