BASED: Sydney



REVENUE: $90 million

BRANDS: Sealcorp - IBM, Digi, Wyse, Genicom 1World - Watchguard, Exabyte, Shiva, Ascend, Accpac, 3Com Qsoft - IBM, Lotus, Novell, Corel, SMC, Canon, Epson, OKI, MYOB, Autodesk, Sirius.

Sealcorp has significantly expanded its operation through the major acquisitions of both 1World and Qsoft. However, rather than trying to integrate the three businesses, Sealcorp has let each find its own niche and develop its own strategy.

Sealcorp managing director Chris Spring is happy to admit that the three divisions have very different business models - in fact, he wouldn't have it any other way.

The original Sealcorp business is value-added distribution, focusing on emerging technologies solutions. Its 1World subsidiary is a product-based distributor focusing on individual market segments, while Qsoft is a time-and-place distributor focused on meeting service-level agreements.

"Our charter is to provide all three styles of distribution under a single financial and operational infrastructure," Spring said. "The channel can come to us and receive different styles of distribution depending on needs.

"For example, at 11:00 they might have a Tech Pacific-like time-and-place need to supply a box, however two hours later the customer calls them with a comms issue and you need technical support. Later in the day, you're required to tender for business and need help putting together an RFP. We provide all three levels of distribution."

The advantage of turning to one distributor to provide all your requirements is that you don't have to establish three different relationships.

"It costs money to engage and build a relationship with a distributor and it's also a distraction from the reseller's core objective. We can reduce the number of relationships a reseller has to have because we recognise spending across all three parts of the business and its all under the one financial and operational infrastructure. Our customers are then going to be better off."

The Sealcorp division doesn't sell products so much as it helps resellers sell solutions based on new technologies like e-commerce, thin-client and virtual private networks.

"We have a lot of experience in these areas because we've actually implemented them ourselves in our own business. We've been running a thin-client infrastructure for five years, a VPN for two and we're right now implementing a full business-to-business e-commerce infrastructure," Spring said.

1World, which distributes products like Watchguard, Exabyte, Shiva, Ascend and Accpac, is focused on product distribution into market segments like the pre-press industry, agency/branch communications and the accounting/wholesale distribution markets. According to Spring, 1World staff are charged with understanding the special product needs of the individual market segments in a way that maximises the return to resellers.

Finally, its Qsoft division deals with time-and-place distribution, focusing on cutting the best possible deal for resellers and shipping product reliably and efficiently. According to Spring, this is backed up by a system of service-level agreements that allow resellers to select one of four structured service packages to accompany their product supply.

While only Qsoft has online ordering right now, all Sealcorp divisions will become part of an IBM e-commerce system which is due for release by the end of the year. By April/May next year Sealcorp aims to have a full business-to-business electronic application implemented which will link Sealcorp's accounting systems to reseller's accounting packages.

Sealcorp provides a high level of technical support and expertise to resellers and has support staff and engineers in all three states it serves - NSW, QLD, and VIC. As well as the technical and presales support, which is free, it provides a wide range of consulting and technical services to resellers.

"We'll provide our reseller with just about any technical requirement they ask of us," said Spring.

Services provided as part of a Sealcorp division solution are bundled with the product.

(02) 9878 8888

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