Optima has now signed 30 dealers since announcing its plans to build a reseller channel at the end of last year.
Australia’s largest PC manufacturer has traditionally been more successful with regional resellers and its CEO, Cornel Ung, said that this had been reflected in recent growth.
“We have signed 30 dealers in the last two quarters — mainly in regional NSW, Victoria and Queensland,” he said. “The channel business has grown 30 per cent this financial year. Next year we expect a better rate.”
In looking to accelerate its channel growth, Ung said Optima would now turn its attention to adding more metropolitan partners. City dealers currently accounted for just 20 per cent of the company’s channel sales.
“We are currently talking to a couple of big system integrators and major VARs,” Ung said. “If we work with the major system integrator in each major city they could contribute a lot to our business.”
Despite the complexities rapid growth can bring to relationship management, Ung said Optima would continue to operate its direct to reseller model where it was considered appropriate.
“Some of the resellers have been with us for 10 or 15 years so we don’t need distributors to manage those relationships,” he said. “And we already have an internal account management structure in place to service them.”
Optima’s channel business represents 15 per cent of the total business at this stage, but that was growing, according to Ung.
“Our target is to have 25 per cent of our business in the channel within the next two years,” he said.
As previously reported in ARN, Optima is hoping to finalise a government deal in Western Australia worth $35 million a year over three years. If successful, it plans to open a Perth office and assembly plant to support further growth of channel and direct business in the state.
Ung also said the company was planning to introduce a product management structure that would see new models released at regular intervals of between six and nine months.
“We’re aiming for first tier,” Ung said. “When you look at the direct market in education and government we are competing with tier-one players anyway.”
Three products available
Optima has announced the availability of three new products — Prolite K and Centoris G series laptops and the WorkPro Video Editing PC.
The Prolite K features a 12.1-inch widescreen LCD, has an internal DVD/CDRW combo drive and weighs 1.9kg. It runs on an Intel 855 chipset, has 802.11b wireless capability and has a recommended retail price of $2499.
The Centoris G has a 15-inch LCD and can run for up to five hours between charges with its eight-cell Lithium-Ion battery. It runs on an Intel Pentium M 1.5GHz processor, includes 802.11b connectivity and is available at a recommended retail price of $1999.
The WorkPro Video Editing PC includes Pinnacle Studio Digital Video Version 9 software that enables users to edit home movie footage and add a range of features including narration, titles, background music and special effects.
The PC runs on a 2.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading, has 512MB RAM and a 120GB hard drive. Also included in the package is a 17-inch CRT screen as well as six surround sound and two amplified speakers. RRP: $1999.