French software vendor, Esker, is on the hunt for a suitable distributor to take its Fax Server products through the channel. It is pitching the products as the only solution that sits directly on top of Lotus Domino.
Esker had acquired three fax server vendors in recent years, making it the world’s third biggest player in that space according to IDC figures, but had been selling direct for the past 18 months to gain an understanding of the technology and how to sell it.
Managing director of Esker Australia, James Elkington, said the vendor didn’t have a big enough sales force to handle the potential growth.
He has held preliminary discussions with one Domino distributor but said they were still at a very early stage.
Although acknowledging that Fax Server was old technology, Elkington said it was far from dead. He claimed Esker research conducted among SAP users in Australia and New Zealand 18 months ago had found that 47 per cent of more than 250 companies surveyed still communicated exclusively with customers by fax and mail rather than electronically.
“We didn’t have the reseller channel or history that we did with our Host Access Solutions so it was important to put together some case studies with customers,” Elkington said.
“It’s an easy product to sell for dealers in the Domino market because they simply tag a ‘what are you doing for faxing’ question on the end of a sale,” he said. “It also provides a good opportunity for resellers with a whole stack of Domino installations to go back and sell them something else.”
Esker is currently going through a similar cycle with its DeliveryWare range, a market segment defined by IDC as ‘facilitating information flow between organizations, customers and partners’.
Elkington estimated these products would be channel ready in 18 months if the vendor achieved its targeted growth rate of 150 per cent year-on-year.
“ERP was all about streamlining internal processes, conducting the same reviews of external communications is the next level,” Elkington said.
“We would like to use the channel to get it out there but it would be impossible for us to teach people how to do something we don’t understand ourselves. Once we have created some end user demand we will pass it on to the reseller community.”