Channel-hungry vendor Sony is edging closer to its goal of signing 1,500 UK VARs to its Sony 1 programme, having revealed it has signed over 250 resellers since April.
Paul McKeever, Sony UK's marketing manager, Business, told CRN: "In line with our expectations, we've actually gone over the 250 mark now and are on course to reach our target of signing up 1,500 resellers in the UK within six months."
"We've had quite an even spread of resellers across all product sectors, but we might eventually try to beef up individual product sectors if we feel there is a gap," he added.
To entice new channel recruits, Sony is entering resellers that sign up before 31 July into a prize draw to win a Mini Cooper S Convertible car.
McKeever said the SME market is particularly lucrative. "It's not just Sony 1 that will help us deliver in this space; we've got a range of notebooks targeted just at SMEs that we will be launching. We're also very keen to grow our public sector businesses and have selected 19 resellers to just focus on the public sector," he said.
But Andrew Davis, managing partner at Wainhouse Research, said such an aggressive recruitment strategy could cause conflict. "For products like videoconferencing, where the technical support requirements are high, this may make sense; for products like projectors, where support is less important, the industry is plagued by over-distribution, where too many resellers compete with the same products, so the only visible weapon is price. Those selling at a low price have little margins and therefore little support teams, and therefore create unhappy customers in the long run."
"For videoconferencing in the UK, the optimum number of resellers is probably between five and 15, not 1,500," he added.
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