Techhead pins smartphone hopes on channel skills

Techhead pins smartphone hopes on channel skills

Telstra Next G-ready device offered in the channel

Telstra distributor, Techhead Interactive, is hoping the IT channel will prove to be its advantage after signing up to carry Palm's Treo 750 smartphone. The handsets will be Next G-ready.

Techhead CEO, Tim Fussell, said the deal meant resellers could provide a mobility package to clients without having to refer customers to Telstra for the hardware.

He claimed a margin of more than $160 per connection was on offer, plus additional services work, and predicted the skills of IT resellers would give them a significant advantage over generic Telstra stores.

Fussell backed the claim by saying traditional IT resellers could take the smartphone into corporate clients, configure it to Exchange servers and ensure functionality.

"Resellers just get this stuff because they have the Microsoft certifications and the experience to get it working properly," he said.

"Prior to this, you could only get it from a Telstra shop and then you were on your own. SMBs, in particular, don't have internal technical resources to get this sort of thing working properly."

Ingram Micro has also picked up distribution rights to the Treo 750, but will offer an unlocked version that isn't tied to a carrier.

"A reseller might want to take these phones to a corporate that already has its own [telephony] plans," Ingram Micro business manager, Jenny Southon, said. "That kind of customer might not want a phone with Telstra software on it."

She said other carriers including Vodafone, and retailers such as Harvey Norman, also bought the Treo 750 through Ingram.

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