The number of ISPs looking for market share in the business market grew again last week when Bracknell-based Netcom made an aggressive bid with the launch of an exclusively indirect channel strategy.
The company outlined its plans for a two-tier channel approach that will include a select group of high-level integration partners.
The partners will target corporates, government business and medium-sized companies, along with a distributor/dealer channel selling into both the small business and SoHo market.
?We will be 100 per cent reseller based in the business market. There will be no direct sales,? said Netcom?s sales and marketing director David Furniss.
Channel strategy manager Nigel Pitcher said the company is looking to sign on ?between four and eight well-established reseller names for its integration partner tier?. He said: ?They will already carry accreditations and agencies for the likes of Sun, HP and IBM and other companies in the Unix and networking areas, but they?re now leaning towards telecoms and Internet integration. They?re the ones we want to talk to.? Existing Microsoft and Novell partnerships are also important, he said.
Pitcher said added value services are the key to accreditation. ?The core proposition from Netcom, providing the Internet connection, doesn?t yield a direct benefit for the business customer. We need resel-lers that can make that connection work for them. Our core product provides them with the basis for lots of other high-margin hardware and service sales.?
Netcom has not yet finalised the strategy for its secondary channel, and has not chosen a distribution partner. Furniss said: ?For distributors, the products don?t take up shelfspace, and don?t tie up finance, but they do offer a lot of potential for pulling through complementary high-margin sales with marketing tie-ups.?
?The key to that channel,? added Pitcher, ?is to continually stimulate demand in the market. And we?ll be doing that.?
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