SME communications provider Via Networks has relaunched its virtual private network (VPN) service offering to include Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), Digital Subscriber Line (xDSL) and internet products.
The firm is also working to recruit larger resellers, as well as converting a number of its existing VARs that work on a referrals basis to selling more complex services.
"Revenues are split 50/50 between referrals and VAR sales," said Pam Johnson, Via Networks' head of UK channel sales.
"A large number of smaller resellers are working with us on referrals. We are aiming for more sophisticated resellers now. We're also encouraging our existing channel to migrate."
Via plans to use its three-pronged offering to create bespoke VPNs for resellers' customers.
Such products could include cut-down DSL or internet VPNs for points of sale, MPLS connections between regional offices and headquarters, and Asymmetric DSL VPNs for home workers.
The company still has a direct business, but is actively trying to recruit resellers and move to become a channel organisation.
Tim Adams, sales director, indirect, at Via, said: "We have launched a dedicated channel programme over the past six months.
"About 70 per cent of our business comes through referrals, with 25 per cent through VARs. We are looking for three types of reseller: referrals, VARs - which will make up the majority of our business - and wholesale."
Johnson described her target resellers as being those that were "already selling Cisco and Nortel, and have a focus on the retail market".
Simon Rogan, managing director of managed services specialist Sirocom, said the market for managed VPNs is looking up.
"We sell to medium and large companies, and people there want a managed service. The SME market wants things very cheap. You have to convince them of the overall value add in order to sell to them," he said.
"There is a growing preference for IT directors to favour a managed service. Research points towards about 40 to 60 per cent compound growth per year."
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