One of BT’s top UK distributors has ditched its BT-only mantra in a bid to exploit growth in the SME hosted application market.
Since its foundation back in 2002, BT gold partner DMSL has focused solely on the carrier’s broadband, data connectivity and voice services.
However, the distributor is now keen to forge ties with a slew of software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors, with hosted accountancy vendor Mamut and mobile messaging vendor XOffice among those in its sights.
DMSL has also formed an alliance with online credit checking service e-bcm, which DMSL managing director John Carter co-founded last year.
Carter said the diversification would propel its 70,000-strong BT broadband end-user base to the “next stage of development”.
But he admitted the move was also designed to reduce reliance on BT.
“We have to move on as a business,” Carter said. “It’s not good to have all of our eggs in one basket. There are BT products that aren’t available through the channel, and if they are not available we have to look at alternatives.
“We’ve been contacted by a lot of vendors who know we have relationships with a lot of SMEs.”
However, BT will remain at the core of DMSL’s offering and Carter stressed that the distributor was also looking to get involved in BT’s new Tradespace tool for third-party SaaS vendors.
Mark Evans, director at BT-only reseller ME Consultancy, said: “If DMSL can help in the same way it’s helped deliver BT packages, this is a good move.
“Hosted services are a great solution for SMEs that want the [same] services the bigger companies enjoy, but don’t have the technological expertise in-house.”
Simon Draper, vice-president of sales at XOffice, which offers hosted email-to-mobile, document management and calendar synchronisation as a monthly service, confirmed that the Amsterdam-based vendor was also in talks to sign DMSL as its first UK distributor.
“DMSL is a great route to market because it gets a lot of the start-ups,” Draper said.
He added that XOffice, whose monthly package will be priced at about £10, is also looking to partner with mobile virtual network operators to help further increase its SME penetration.
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