BigAir courts channel for expansion

BigAir courts channel for expansion

After four years of almost exclusively direct sales, BigAir is looking for partners to resell its wireless broadband solutions. IT resellers, integrators, ISPs and telcos are all in its sights.

CEO, Jason Ashton, said the market opportunity was huge, with broadband expected to grow at an annual rate of 25 per cent during the next four years. Although coming from a much smaller install base of about 100,000 users in Australia, he said wireless would grow three or four times faster during the same period.

"We are looking for anybody in the business of recommending ISP services to customers," Ashton said. "The market opportunity is huge."

BigAir has been working with a handful of integration partners to date but is now looking to grow its channel aggressively.

"We dipped our toe in the water almost a year ago with Ethan Group, which also sells Optus and Uecomm [broadband] products," Ashton said. "The great strength of wireless is how quickly and cost effectively it can be installed."

As well as targeting existing customers currently using ADSL services, Ashton pointed out that many areas outside the major business districts have been unable to gain access to high-speed connectivity. One Ethan Group win had been with the Federal Police in the Sydney suburb of Manly.

"They couldn't get access to high-speed broadband and a fibre link would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our installation cost about $1000," Ashton said.

"There's a lot of misinformation about wireless and security and the Federal Police obviously had some concerns. The truth is there's just as much risk in a wired network."

The sweet spot for the BigAir service is organisations with 10-100 users but Ashton said it was affordable for small businesses with as few as five users and would also scale up to much larger implementations.

Resellers will make margins of 30 per cent on the BigAir service, according to Ashton, or 40 per cent if they can provide billing and first level support. The service starts at $500 per month.

Ashton said BigAir now had more channel-facing than direct sales staff. This team would provide assistance with pre-sales, order processing and deal closures.

BigAir will hold a channel launch event at Four Points by Sheraton in Sydney's Darling Harbour on September 14.

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