Having put his involvement in the Australian arm of the failed E-exchange venture behind him, channel identity Braham Shnider has launched a new consulting and marketing operation aimed at assisting the channel relationships of vendors and distributors.
Launching Channel Enablers today, Shnider said he was leveraging his channel experience and targeting overseas and local vendors as potential clients. He said any vendor or distributor looking to launch or revitalise a channel-based distribution model would be able to fast-track programs and avoid some of the pitfalls.
"I know the channel in Australia," Shnider said. "I believe I have a strong understanding of what works and what doesn't when it comes to channel programs and management. I am convinced there will be demand for channel strategy as well as program design and implementation, supported by an effective tactical marketing campaign."
Shnider says he has been a long-term believer in the crucial role of the channel in IT distribution and is keen to work towards win win situations for the vendors, distributors and resellers. He believes Channel Enablers to be the first consulting companies in Australia to focus exclusively on channels.
"We see a huge opportunity for vendors to utilise the channel," he said. "It's about trying to get everyone working in the same direction. It's about aligning the vendors' expectations of channels with the channel's expectations of vendors."
Shnider started delivering channel consulting services in October last year and has serviced five clients since then. He now has two staff supporting the business and is currently looking for a third. Shnider said the only reason he has not officially launched Channel Enablers prior to this is that he has been too busy providing the services for these initial clients.
The range of services offered by Channel Enablers is many and varied, ranging from executive recruitment searching to channel program review and implementation, Shnider claimed.
"An example of the type of services on offer would be to a direct vendor looking to take on a channel model or a vendor with a channel model that is not working for them," Shnider said. "I can also see a demand from overseas vendors looking to enter the Australian market but not having any understanding of how to best utilise Australia's channel."
"I can give them the background and help them market themselves to the channel. There are vendors here that need to improve returns on their channel investments."
"Through some of the programs we are implementing, [vendors] have the opportunity to bring some accountability back to their channel spend."
Shnider said he sees two primary revenue streams for Channel Enablers: consulting services on channel programs and marketing services in enabling or rolling out channel programs.
In addition to his own channel experience, Shnider has partnered with two companies to enhance the services he offers.
A strategic alliance has been formed with the US-based channel consultants Technology Channels Group as well as Performance Directed Management, which runs management training and consulting based in Melbourne.
PDM will help Channel Enablers deliver "large partner sales planning programs" which will be targeting vendors looking to optimise relationships they have with a large number of channel partners.
Shnider has been around the Australian IT distribution channel for many years. He was founder of ITG's distribution business (acquired by Ingram Micro in 1999). Prior to ITG, he worked as the Victorian sales manager for former reselling big gun Hisoft. On leaving ITG, he spent six months in a senior role at Ingram Micro.