February’s merger between whitebox powerhouse, Ipex, and services group, Volante, not only created Australia's second largest IT company, it also gave the reseller channel access to the locally produced Ipex brand.
The $70 million deal saw the two companies restructure, dividing the 850 joint staff between the IT services division, which now operates wholly under the Volante mantle, and a computer manufacturing division which operates as Ipex.
According to sales marketing manager for Ipex, Gadi Bichler, the new structure enables the company to focus wholly on product development, while more than 80 newly appointed service agents, as well as numerous resellers, take care of sales and service.
“Our approach lets us concentrate on product development and manufacturing processors,” Bichler said. “We will be able to offer the reseller channel a greater range in terms of variety and quality, and gain wider acceptance of the brand by increasing our presence around Australia.”
Having been quite successful at selling into the government and education sectors, the Ipex brand enjoys positive product recognition throughout Australia, despite the fact it hasn’t been previously available through resellers. Bichler said it’s newly appointed resellers will be able to leverage the Ipex branding in the corporate arena to increase penetration into the SME and consumer markets.
In order to support its new channel structure, Ipex has appointed a raft of product managers, invested in logistics and freed up additional marketing funds.
“The push is on to increase the numbers of resellers and to provide different arrangements that suit them,” Bichler said. “It is a slow process to get resellers to trust you, so we want to make sure all the supports are in place to win that trust.”
Bichler is confident, arguing Ipex offers a value proposition for resellers on a number of levels.
“On the one hand, we offer a value proposition in terms of product quality and range. Ipex can provide resellers with a complete end-to-end solution from desktops, through notebooks, convergence devices, tablet PCs and a variety of servers,” Bichler explained. “On the other, we can provide strong technical support as well as the infrastructure to offer warranty and logistical support.”
And while the larger whitebox manufacturers such as ASI Solutions, Optima and Pioneer should be wary of this new kid on the block, whitebox resellers should benefit from greater competition for their services, contacts and retail space.
“I see our biggest competition coming from the big local manufacturers and the mid-level multinational vendors,” Bichler said.
Despite this heady competition, Bichler insisted the new approach will be successful, arguing that it enables Ipex and its channel to focus on respective strengths.
“The approach enables Ipex to concentrate on manufacturing, and get access to a hell of a lot more sales people than we could ever employ in house,” he said.