Distribution goliath Horizon Technology Group has assembled a unified communications (UC) division after abandoning its fruitless search for acquisition targets.
The unit will focus on Microsoft, voice over IP (VoIP) and IP video technology and will provide systems integration services to VARs struggling to move into UC.
Simon Welch, marketing director at Horizon, said: “Over the past 18 months we have looked at three or four voice distributors, but none had the skill sets that would have given us a fast track into UC, so we decided to put together our own team.
“We’ve hired five heads in the past two months that have experience in Microsoft telephony and we already have the core data centre skills.”
The UC business will sit within the distributor’s incubation wing, Horizon Solutions, and will include technology from Tandberg visual communications and VegaStream. Welch said Horizon is also close to signing at least one VoIP vendor and is in talks to become a Microsoft integrator.
The distributor hopes to have 15 VARs up and running on its UC portfolio by the end of the year.
“We are very deep in integration, rather than supply chain logistics, so we are ideally placed to assist the resellers,” Welch said.
However, Scott Dobson, managing director at rival VegaStream distributor VComm, called the UC launch “smoke and mirrors”.
“Horizon has done nothing with its voice franchises since [EquIP founder] Grahame Smee left. This is a last-ditch attempt to woo the vendors,” he claimed.
“But fair play to it for recognising it is an area of the market that it should be looking at.”
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