Panasonic is looking to swell its UK reseller ranks to help change the perception that it is purely a “belt and braces” PBX vendor for the SME market.
The vendor has historically focused on the SME space and recent figures from consultancy firm MZA placed Panasonic as the UK’s leading PBX manufacturer for businesses with less than 100 extensions.
But Steve Gerrard, Panasonic’s marketing manager for business telephone systems, said: “For more than 20 years people have looked at our products as belt and braces for their high-reliability and cost-effectiveness. It is a perception we have exploited, but the product range is much more than that.”
Gerrard revealed Panasonic currently had about 70 formalised relationships with UK VARs, but that he hoped to swell that number by about a third, with a focus on recruiting VARs from IT or data backgrounds. He indicated that up to 20 per cent of the vendor’s base of traditional telephony VARs could struggle to come to terms with the vagaries of voice over IP. “We will be empowering our channel to get VoIP,” he said.
Distributor Nimans recently added Richard Sawyer to its Panasonic channel development team and will be showcasing additions to the vendor’s product range next month. Systems sales director Phil Adams claimed his firm had a track record of recruiting VARs.
“We do not differentiate between voice and data resellers,” he said. “Panasonic traditionally takes its time in coming to market with new products when it does, they are always fully finished projects.”
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