In the hot seat: Projecting the right image

In the hot seat: Projecting the right image

InFocus country manager, Lee Whincup, is a man of many talents and hobbies. On the one hand, he would love to be a chef and can whip up a killer cheesecake. On the other, he's good at cricket, a game he learned a thing or two about while playing professionally in England.

Initially intending to be a doctor, he switched into IT thanks to some golden opportunities. As head of InFocus channels, running activities from Perth to Tahiti, he wants to pump up business in both the commercial and consumer segments. His main plans for the New Year include rolling out a new branding program, launching a gaggle of new product and educating partners.

How did you get involved with InFocus?

Lee Whincup (LW): I was working in Europe and the US for a British application management software company, Appsense. I set up the US channel for them and was asked to come out here to set up an Asia-Pacific channel. Through contacts in Sydney, I came across InFocus. My friend, who was out here from their headquarters in Portland, moved back to the US, and thought I'd be good for rebuilding the InFocus channel.

What's your professional background?

LW: I moved to England in 1998 to play cricket. I discovered how expensive England was and that you couldn't survive on cricket wages alone, so I started working for the biggest Citrix integrator in the UK. Prior to that, I was also in network management with KPMG in Melbourne and did a lot of consultancy work. I didn't always plan on getting into IT, but it was something I had a natural aptitude for.

What's the InFocus channel structure?

LW: We have two separate channels: a commercial set of products, geared towards what people traditionally see projection as; and a consumer channel. For the business side, we operate through Ingram Micro and have relationships with about 80 resellers. We also deal with IDT, a distributor to the AV industry and have about 30 resellers here. On the consumer side, we have an exclusive relationship with International Dynamics, a home theatre distribution company based in Melbourne.

What channel plans are on tap for next year?

LW: You will see InFocus do some rebranding from January 1, in order to assist people in understanding the placement of the two different product sets. In the early part of next year, we'll also come out with an entirely new range, both consumer and commercial. We will also be introducing a government program, which will be similar to the education program. The program will help simplify government purchases and offer additional warranty and discounted prices. We are also about to introduce 12-month lamp warranties across all products. The industry tends to offer three months.

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