New vendors for OCS superstore shelves

Open Channel Solutions (OCS) has strengthened its superstore stable, signing on with several new open source vendors.

The distributor's national business manager, Geoff Quinn, said it had struck new deals with four vendors, while also securing a sub-distribution deal with T Data for the FalconStor series of network software products.

The latest range includes application middleware products from JBoss, along with network management tools from US-based open source vendor, NetVision. Its other new recruits are an IP management solution from US-based MetaInfo and server monitoring products from Polish vendor, AdRem.

Most of these products had not been previously represented in the Australian market, Quinn said. "In this business you either go for low margin products that are highly visible or new products with no exposure in the market and higher margin," he said.

Several of its recent additions had approached the distributor for a local presence, Quinn said.

It had found the other products via Novell's annual BrainShare conference.

Initially established as a Novell distributor, OCS announced its intention to open a superstore of complementary, third-party products in April.

Since then, it has hired former Hutchison marketing contact, Anna Mascarello, to take charge of its reseller recruitment and marketing.

Quinn said he was now looking to employ a full-time technical person to assist with support for resellers on its widening range of products. This would hopefully enable OCS to become a fully-fledged FalconStor distributor in the future, he said.

The distributor had set itself the ambitious target of generating half of its revenue from the superstore within 18 months, he said.

At present, Novell business accounts for more than 95 per cent of sales.

"Although we have run the business under the Novell model for nine years, the superstore has been a start-up process," he said. "We needed a goal, so if we get close to 50/50 sales we'll be happy."

In response to growing Victorian sales, Quinn said Sydney-based OCS would look to open a second office in Melbourne during the second half of 2006. "We have a few large VARs in Melbourne," he explained. "It's a very large market that we need to service at a local level."

To help generate market awareness of the Netvision range, OCS is planning to hold an eastern states roadshow next month in conjunction with integration partner, The Somerville Group.