Boutique distributor, VExpress, claims to have launched the first nationwide service to determine whether a business would benefit from IP telephony. It hopes this will help attract more reseller partners – particularly systems integrators and voice solutions providers – in regional areas.
“These systems are not large or overly complex but what we have identified is a lack of IP understanding among traditional resellers of telephony in regional areas,” VExpress operations manager, Grant Morrison, said.
‘Metropolitan resellers have better access to vendors and education because it is a big commitment for the guys in rural areas to fly somebody in for training events.”
Morrison said organisations wanting to become a VExpress partner would have to have a member of staff trained as a certified Alcatel engineer. “We are bringing skills to regional areas,” he said. “It is a painless, cost-effective and proactive way to alleviate the [skill shortage] problem.”
VExpress, an independent sister company of systems integrator VoIP, was set up specifically to distribute Alcatel products. It has recruited more than 20 partners in regional Australia since its inception in May, together with a further 50 in metropolitan areas.
“We have signed up partners in all the major states but we still have room for a further five or 10 resellers in regional Australia and a few more in major centres like Wagga where it would make sense to have more than one partner,” Morrison said.
“We need coverage in the Northern Territory, the market is buoyant in Darwin because of the Department of Defence contracts up there and we are also looking to appoint somebody in Cairns.”
Morrison said he had originally intended to appoint just 50 resellers nationally and was still keen not to have too many partners.
“We are a boutique distributor and, as such, want to be a place where people can come for a higher quality service,” he said.
“We all know who the Grace Brothers and Coles of our industry are. They play an important role in broad-based distribution but it is not a model we are looking to use.”