Channel initiatives boosted

Channel initiatives boosted

Net Return, the exclusive distributor and A/NZ face of US CRM and ERP vendor, NetSuite, has invested in its fledgling channel by creating two new state branches, doubling staffing levels. The company has also created a channel manager role to oversee its partner recruitment drive.

Net Return executive director, Stuart McLean, said it had picked up eight partners, but there was still work to be done to gain its desired 80 per cent channel and 20 per cent direct sales blend.

"Right now we are probably doing 10 per cent through the channel," he said. "We've ramped up our direct sales force as far as we want to go, so now it's a question of getting channel partners on-board."

In light of that, Net Return had opened additional offices in Melbourne and Brisbane in the past month, bringing its total staffing levels to about 50.

"With the new offices we now have a team of 25 people purely for selling, support, servicing, and marketing NetSuite Australia," McLean said.

Net Return had also appointed a channel manager to actively recruit strategic partners, he said. The manager, whom McLean declined to name, would work to appoint partners to address verticals such as telcos and financial institutions, as well as broad-based hardware and software resellers.

"Ideally we will sign three or four partners in each state to address specific verticals in order to extend the product reach, and sell a unique online solution tailored to those verticals," McLean said.

It would also look to smaller, under-addressed metropolitan markets such as Newcastle and Geelong to gain partners, he said. Net Return would also build on its current reseller base with the promise of recurring revenue from monthly licences and the opportunity to bundle value-added services around the product suite.

The recent US-led rebranding of its Oracle small business bundle to NetSuite meant Net Return would have its work cut out in rebuilding market brand awareness, McLean said.

"NetSuite is known in the US but not Australia," he said.

"That is a challenge for us and why we will be putting a lot of money behind marketing."

The vendor had already worked hard to demonstrate the product's potential in the market since launching NetSuite in Australia in February, he said.

"When we first launched the product, the channel said prove it," McLean said. "So we did, by gaining over 30 customers, some of which are big brand names."

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