LAN Systems is to launch a new marketing tool that will enable its resellers to customise end-user presentations.
The SalesVision tool will be used on campaigns for its top-line vendors - including Cisco, Nortel, Avaya, EMC and Check Point - but will also help resellers incorporate relevant products from other manufacturers in building complete solutions. These could then be customised to attack particular vertical markets or applications.
A reseller pitching for an education deal, for example, could incorporate a time and attendance application, video surveillance, advanced learning tools, security, storage and networking infrastructure.
The customer pitch might include a few slides giving background on the reseller, a few more about the vendor, a video clip containing a corporate vendor message, slides about a particular technology or product set, and a video clip of an existing customer explaining how a similar solution improved their business. The vendor information and multimedia content will be available from a central resource depository.
Once a reseller had created their own content and pulled together what they need from SalesVision, the different components of any given presentation could be put together in minutes, the tool's creator, Duncan Potter, said.
Worldwide corporate marketing vice-president for LAN Systems' parent company, Westcon Group, Potter was in Australia last week to detail his vision at the LAN Systems company conference.
"Traditionally, distributors have been worried about training and certification at one end of the sales cycle and implementation at the other," Potter said. "They haven't been involved in the end-user process but we want to help resellers through that.
"There's a huge amount of expertise in a value-added distributor such as LAN Systems and we have to bring that out more aggressively. We need to build programs and infrastructure above and beyond running the latest Cisco promotion or Nortel migration campaign."
SalesVision is already live in Europe, with the US due to follow at the end of March.
Australia is next in line, with LAN Systems managing director, Wendy O'Keeffe, estimating it would be available before the end of June.
"There are localisation issues because we will have to put together vendor video clips," she said. "We can't go to our customers with US-centric programs."
O'Keeffe said the SalesVision tool would most likely be used first for Cisco's SMB-x program. Other vendors she would like to get on board included Avaya, Nortel, EMC and Check Point.
Potter said the marketing tool was part of a broader Westcon initiative, which would be driven through LAN Systems and its other businesses. This would be based on four key elements - lead generation, technology migration, creating opportunities for advanced technologies and end-user capture.
SalesVision will be subscription-based but, although pricing has not been finalised, Potter claimed resellers would see a return on investment within a day.
"It won't be hugely expensive by any stretch of the imagination because it isn't about getting money from resellers," he said.
"It's about continually refreshing and helping us to understand what content resellers are using. That way we know what dealers are finding useful and can identify any areas that have an awareness problem."