XPLORE Technologies is exploring alternative channel models that has lead to its growth, according to the company’s chief marketing officer, Peter Poulin.
The US rugged tablet manufacturer plans on ramping up its channel strategy after experiencing significant Asia-Pacific market share growth in 2015. According to VDC Research, the company grew its share in the region to almost 11 per cent for the second quarter in a row.
Poulin attributed the growth to the company’s strategic acquisition of Motion Computing in 2015. He said the companies had been pursuing complementary markets in the US and the merger was decided on the basis that combining the top two players, would establish a stronghold in the market.
The major strength that the acquisition brought to the table, according to Poulin, was Motion’s international channels.
“Roughly 45 per cent of the companies’ revenue was coming from international markets through a two-tier distribution model. As we brought the companies together, the question was how do we take advantage of this channel that Motion has built and do we want to continue along this path?”
Poulin said the executive team recognised early on that channel partners created a strong business model for customer satisfaction and support.
“It was quickly decided that we wanted to bring our XPLORE branded products into that channel and start growing the business,” he said.
Currently, Dicker Data is the primary distributor in Australia and according to Poulin, the company’s channel strategy for the A/NZ market is largely based on reseller quality versus quantity.
“We have multiple classes of partners based on their capabilities and expertise in particular markets. A partner’s ability to add value to particular customers we are trying to target is also highly important. We are really not focused on having a lot of resellers, we are focused more on quality over quantity and this is why we have put our partner program together. It also gives us the opportunity to allow us to look at non-traditional models.”
Poulin said experimenting with new channel models underpins the company’s expansion strategy.
“One of the advantages of being a global company is that you can experiment in different markets, rather than rolling out something new across the world all at once. You can have test markets. Our strategy is that we try different things in different markets and if it works, we replicate it across the world.”
Within Australia, XPLORE recently signed on Staples a partner and Poulin described this partnership as a non-traditional channel avenue.
“As it turns out, they have a robust IT practice and we wanted to engage with them. It was a channel we wouldn't have normally considered an IT channel, but they are adding great value to customers.”
“Our initial relationship has been very positive and we have been working on a number of sales opportunities with them and in general, we have all been pretty optimistic at this point.”
Poulin added that the company intends to hit the telecommunications market in Australia having experienced success in the US telco market.
“In the US, over the last three years, AT&T and Verizon have bought more than $10 million worth of our products. We are the standard for them. We think we can replicate this across the world and intend to do in the Australian market.”
Other markets in Australia that present strong opportunity also includes transportation and distribution, as well as emergency services, according to the company.