Techplus recruits Harkness and opens NSW office

Techplus recruits Harkness and opens NSW office

Melbourne-based distributor also plans expansion into WA and Queensland

Techplus Distribution has appointed Robert Harkness as its northern region business development manager following the opening of a new office in NSW. Managing director, Paul Kern, said he would be responsible for developing and building channel relationships for its product portfolio.

"We've been dealing from Melbourne nationally for quite a number of years. Whilst we have had some success in NSW, we haven't really been building the longer term relationships we would like to," he said. "With our Exinda, Secure Computing, Proofpoint and Barracuda product range, we have a huge opportunity to develop the NSW and Queensland markets."

Harkness said he was keen to strike up strong partnerships in NSW.

"Techplus has done really well in Victoria, WA and SA, but not so well in NSW and Queensland," he said. "I think it's because they weren't here to look after partners."

Harkness said one of his first points of focus would be to train partners so they could adequately sell and represent products.

"As a niche market distributor, we need to do that and the products need a lot of assistance in the channel," he said.

Kern said he was also interested in establishing offices in WA and Queensland.

"Right now WA is generating more business for us because of the resources boom there, so that is tracking as the next stop. But hopefully with an office in NSW that might see a sales increase in Queensland and give us a step into that market," he said.

Harkness previously spent nine months with security vendor, St Bernard Software, which shut down its Sydney operation as part of a global cost cutting exercise. His resume spans more than 10 years in the distribution industry and includes roles at Lan 1, Avnet and the launch of Dovetail Distribution.

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