Enterprise software developer Inprise Australia/New Zealand quietly launched its new Web site recently, allowing consumers to purchase Borland-branded products online.
Despite this direct initiative, Inprise was quick to reassure its channel that it was simply an expansion rather than a replacement of existing channel strategies.
"Essentially we are offering our customers an alternative channel to market. We will offer our Borland-branded products at the recommended retail price and see this service benefiting those customers that do not live near a retail outlet. This is an extra value add to the activities of our retailers," said Ray Bradbery, managing director of Inprise Australia/New Zealand.
Furthermore, Liselle Walker, marketing communications manager at Inprise, explained that online orders would be fulfilled through the channel. "Orders will be placed through the site, Inprise will process them and the channel will fulfil them," said Walker, insisting that the Web site will only offer products at RRP and won't ever sell bundles, services or reduced-price items.
"We're definitely not trying to detract from our channel," Walker added.
Presently the site only offers Inprise's three main product lines, and of those only the main versions in each series. "We have no immediate plans to expand this," said Walker. "We are still ironing out all the bugs and testing the waters."
Inprise is also confident of its channel's positive reaction to the newly revamped e-commerce site because it purports to more appropriately address the needs of its developers and partners through the creation of online communities.
"In the last 12 months the Australian and New Zealand operation has demonstrated higher growth in enterprise-level deals than any other country in the world. Yet we have also been very successful in attracting new customers to use the Borland development tools, increasing our base of active customers by over 17 per cent in the past year," said Bradbery. "Balancing the needs of these two communities and providing clear and simple communication and support is a key element of our Internet strategy."
Overall, the Web site will be divided into four communities. The first will be the developer community with Inprise focusing on distributing and receiving feedback from its global network of developers.
The second will be the enterprise community, which will deal with middleware offerings and access to enterprise solutions.
The partner community will be directed towards Inprise integrators, value added resellers (VARs) and distributors and provide them with information on joint business activ-ities, product pre-releases, marketing initiatives and partner feedback options.
The retail community section introduces Inprise's online shop, as well as having a list of Inprise retail- ers, resellers, VARs and distributors available to the consumer.