is recruiting partners to sell its managed IT
services and virtual network operator offerings. It has appointed channel
veteran Julie Brightwell, whose pedigree includes channel management spells at
Alcatel and IBM, to build a partnership strategy.
The company, founded by Dan Somers, is currently understood by most companies
in the audio visual (AV) channel as a rival. “We thought they were a reseller,”
confessed James Vickerage, head of marketing at AV distributor Imago.
Now Somers wants to reposition the company as a service provider and, having
achieved that, is looking to recruit reseller partners to help widen its market.
“Our carrier distribution agreements and converged network expertise offers
resellers the chance to give clients a complete comms package,” said Brightwell.
Brightwell boasted that VC-Net now has a double whammy to offer the channel –
virtual network operator service based on MPLS [multi protocol label switching]
and a new virtual collaboration service, which – she claimed – offers everything
that web and video conferencing have so far failed to deliver.
“I have been in this business a long time, for various vendors, and there
systems on sale that never quite got there. But I’m now convinced we have finally
arrived at something that works, and end users don’t need to change their
infrastructure to get it,” she said.
Brightwell credited the YouTube generation with turning video collaboration
into a business tool. “I tell you who is driving online collaboration: kids.
They’re showing adults the way. Call it pester power,” she said.
The channel veteran says social networking tools could be used to build
channel too. “My linked-in contacts have proved pretty useful,” joked
Brightwell. “When you’ve been in the channel as long as I have, you have a good
contact list of potential partners to speak to.”
Sunbury-based Impact Marcom has been appointed to sell VC-Net systems, and
opened a videoconferencing collaboration demo facility at the company’s head
office in Sunbury, Middlesex in January.
“One of the best things about VC-Net is that it owns its own capacity,” said
Julian Phillips, managing director of Impact.
Phillips warned that AV resellers need to get into services, in which case the wrong choice of supplier could be fatal.
“The conferencing market has evolved into one where clients buy a meeting
management service, rather than a bunch of products they try to put together
themselves,” he said. “There are comms suppliers out there who sell you
bandwidth, but a bit of due diligence reveals they are simply selling someone
else’s capacity. But you can’t offer quality of service unless you have control
over your own services.”
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