In the hot seat: Building power in the channel

In the hot seat: Building power in the channel

Californian-born Bart Mascorella, Emerson business unit manager for distributed products, came to Australia to escape the recession gripping the US in the early 80s. Looking for greener pastures, he landed in the world of IT and has never looked back.

Now in charge of Emerson's channels for A/NZ, he sees enormous opportunity in the power management arena. While traditionally strong in the enterprise market - in large data centres - the company sees growing opportunities in the SME and SMB market.

What's your professional background?

Bart Mascorella (BM): I've been in the IT industry in Australia since 1982 when I arrived. I started as a technician in the mainframe industry for Sperry, which became Unisys. After four years, I went and worked for IBM as a service technician and then moved into a management role after a year-and-a-half.

What attracted you to this segment of the IT market?

BM: After IBM, I took some time off and recognised the growth area for the IT market was network communications. I worked for a local company called Scitec, which was at the forefront of convergence technology. They were building data and voice over frame relay technology. Frame relay was looking like it would be one of the standards for a long time until the industry standardised on TCP/IP. But they missed the window in terms of opportunities. They went down one path and the market went down another.

How did you hook up with Emerson?

BM:I then worked for Cisco as a channel manager, and set up and ran the inside sales operation. Emerson has a strong development relationship with Cisco worldwide and that's how I got involved with the company. The technology is based around the business continuity architecture for VoIP. Emerson was looking for someone to come in and set some direction for the channel.

What are the company's main market segments?

BM: The enterprise business is our core strength. We provide the business continuity technology that supports the large data centres: the precision air technology as well as DC power and UPS. Traditionally, we sold through contractors, building developers and other types of channels. But while we are a channel focused organisation, we haven't been strong when it comes to supporting the IT channel, supplying UPS technology for the wiring closet, for example.

What are some of your top plans for 2006?

BM: We want to consolidate our business in the IT channel space. We started this process a few years ago. We set up a distribution business through Digiland, but through their own misfortune, they lost their distributorship. Last year, we engaged Ingram Micro as preferred distributor to begin the process of rebuilding. The Ingram and Tech Pacific merger created some challenges for us, but we've worked through them. We are looking to develop a business plan, which involves achieving aggressive growth in the distributed products group (DPG), over the next three years.

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