Vodafone has slashed its IT channel numbers and started rebuilding in an attempt to create traction. It had signed up about 1200 through Ingram Micro during the past two years but only 25 per cent of those had bought any product.
National IT channel manager, Grant Heath, joined the company in April and has since ditched almost two-thirds of existing resellers. It now has about 450 registered partners that have access to its mobile broadband and mobile email products, which are being targeted at companies with 5-100 users.
Heath is currently building a core certified group of 20 that can independently generate consistent monthly sales. He has appointed four certified partners in Queensland and another four in WA. He expects to have a core group of 20 resellers committed to this level across the country by the end of September. No premium partners are being appointed but a handful of the certified ranks are expected to make the step up within 3-6 months.
"It became clear that we were trying to be all things to all people and consequently spreading ourselves too thin," Heath said. "We really need to spend some time with key partners in order to make this channel grow.
"These guys will need help because selling a mobile data card is tough. You've really got to sell the benefits of increased productivity through working anywhere at any time. If I look at our partner base over the past couple of years, there isn't one who has consistently given us connections every month."
Registered partners complete basic online training, sign a contract and register on the Vodafone business channel portal. They are managed by a telephone account manager sitting within Ingram Micro. Heath has appointed BDMs in Queensland and WA to work with certified partners but is still looking to fill similar posts in NSW and Victoria.