Networking integrator, 3D Networks, is building a partnership with unified communications vendor, Mitel, as part of efforts to realign its business to core solutions areas.
3D managing director, Rod Taylor, said the decision to work more closely with Mitel in the Australian market extended from similar relationships across Asia-Pacific. While 3D has traditionally been seen as a Nortel reseller, the company’s aim moving forward was to become a more agnostic, consultative-led business, he said.
“In mid-2009, with Nortel in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and our extensive Nortel install base, we elected to move to a more agnostic, consultative-led engagement model,” Taylor said. “I’m looking to reinvigorate and change the business.”
Mitel’s SMB focus and unified communications product was a complementary fit with both the Avaya/Nortel product set and 3D’s new sales focus, Taylor said. It also allowed 3D to expand its SIP-based unified communications offering.
To obtain authorisedPartner status, 3D needed to meet sales targets and have a certain number of certified staff. In return, it will be entitled to a range of support programs around sales and technical training, pre- and post-sales support and Mitel’s 24/7 response team. Taylor said 3D was spending over $1 million to get 25 engineering staff trained on Mitel solutions in Australia across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
“We’ve made the investment upfront in anticipation of customer needs, rather than requirement,” he said. “Given our install base of 1500 customers, and our presence in the SME space, Mitel was a good fit.”
3D’s core vendor relationships now include Avaya, Juniper, Cisco, Microsoft and Mitel.
Taylor said the integrator had previously maintained too many disparate vendor relationships, which made it difficult to meet expectations.
“It’s very important that we have vertical depth, so we have the right people on-board with specific skills in our vendor base,” he said.
To help achieve this strategy, 3D recently split its sales structure into three-tiers: Top-line solution architects with best-of-breed capabilities; subject matter experts; and rollout and install teams.
“We have also changed our ratio of sales so that pre-sales is more one-to-one,” Taylor said.