Startup networking vendor Top Layer Networks International has announced it will be selling its products solely through the channel in Australia.
The announcement comes as part of the vendor's plans to establish a presence in the Asia-Pacific, with its regional headquarters in Sydney scheduled to open in late March.
Top Layer has appointed LAN Systems as its exclusive distributor.
Nick Verykios, Lan Systems' chief marketing officer at LAN Systems, said Top Layer's products offer resellers a number of opportunities.
According to Verykios, some of its high-end integrators had been talking to Top Layer directly and approached LAN Systems about the possibility of the distributor sourcing the vendor's products through its TeckSource product sourcing program. "A number of our customers were saying they wanted to go through TeckSource on this product," said Verykios. "At the same time we were looking at solutions other customers wanted."
Initially LAN Systems will not be offering Top Layer's products generally. "It's very specialised - it will be for a select number of integrators," Verykios said. But he did add that LAN Systems eventually plans to roll the products through its TransIT general distribution model.
According to Verykios, the decision provides an opportunity for resellers to provide a high-level service agreement to their customers. "This allows the reseller to provide a measurable and defensible service agreement.
"What we also believe is that many of our other vendors will offer similar solutions in the future and we want to make sure our resellers get into this area early," he said.
Among the channel companies Top Layer has been working with are Logical Asia-Pacific and network integrator NetStar Australia.
Trevor Boal, NetStar NSW branch manager, said he had been working with Top Layer over the past month.
"They have bought some very new technology to the market, primarily in the area of a high level of application control."
Boal also said that this would enable NetStar to be able to provide its customers with greater control on the network.
"We're working on a couple of customer opportunities already," Boal said.
Lyle Potgieter, CEO of Logical Asia-Pacific, said it was in partnership with Top Layer and looked forward to working with them.
Alex Turkington, area vice president Asia-Pacific for Top Layer, was enthusiastic about the relationships Top Layer was developing in Australia, and said Logical and NetStar were two examples of companies he wanted to work closely with. "There's no point in me chasing a lot of companies if we can't make a good business relationship work and be successful.
"When you're a new startup technology company playing in a big market with some big players you need to have a channel model which makes sense," Turkington said.
Turkington does not believe Top Layer will ever reach the mass distribution of some of the other networking vendors. "I think, as a small company with a highly differentiated product, channels can be successful selling the product," he said. "We want our channel to make good margin on our product."
As to goals, Turkington said Top Layer was looking to secure 20 medium-sized customers in Australia and New Zealand by the end of the calendar year, and have a couple of ISPs using its products.