A local installation and maintenance franchise has secured its first deal with a leading vendor, signing up to offer technical support services for Netgear products.
The Netgear Assist deal will see Troubleshooters supporting the vendor's home networking products including ADSL modems, broadband routers and wireless adapters. While this has predominantly been a home office sell in the past, a growing number of consumers are now installing home networks.
Netgear director of partnerships and services, Ryan Parker, said the vendor would look to offer the service through major retail partners such as Harvey Norman, Officeworks, Leading Edge and Retravision.
Troubleshooters founder, Wilson McOrist, said the deal was an important milestone for the company.
"We see this as a big deal and it should open up similar opportunities for us in the future," he said.
McOrist founded Troubleshooters in Coffs Harbour seven years ago after experiencing difficulties in sourcing IT assistance. It now has more than 400 global franchises, with more than half of these in the US.
But the group is still looking to recruit more hands locally. Those who sign up are charged a one-off fee of $22,000 followed by monthly fees of $280. Franchisees set their own callout charges, receiving technical support and training from Troubleshooters, McOrist said. State-based regional directors coordinate local franchise holders. NSW regional director, Steve Paino, oversees 39 franchises that work mainly on wireless, VoIP and VPN technologies.
About 75 per cent of revenues currently came from small business work but consumer networking installations were its fastest growing business, Paino said.
With the Assist service due to launch in July, Netgear's Parker was quick to play down the possibility of conflict with existing resellers. More skilled dealers would continue to do their own installations, he said, while those who simply wanted to sell product would now have another support resource for their customers.