A surge of new SME business opportunities could flood the channel following the birth of an organisation dedicated to generating leads for VARs by training accountants as IT consultants.
The Independent Association of Accountants Information Technology Consultants, known as the IAAITC, is due to launch in the next few weeks. It plans to marry VARs and accountants together in the SME space.
Founder David Reynolds, who has worked in the channel for 20 years, exclusively told vnunet.com's sister publication CRN: "There are about three million UK SMEs, which employ 80 per cent of the workforce. Most are not getting the benefits out of IT that they should.
"Because these businesses are not large enough to have in-house accountants, they often rely on external firms for business advice. There is no reason why an accountant shouldn't give IT advice on top."
Accountants will be trained as IT advisers which, in turn, would recommend local resellers to jointly deliver IT to SMEs. The scheme has the backing of vendors such as Evesham Technology and Microsoft, and the organisation is in talks with other high-profile backers.
"We are trying to move away from the technical side of IT, which most SMEs are not interested in, and focus on business solutions," Reynolds said.
Accountants will pay an annual fee to be members of the organisation, but at present resellers do not have to pay a membership fee, he added.
Phil Oakley, IT consultant at accountancy firm Bently Jennison, said: "We see IT as one of the main sources of revenue for the future. It is in our mutual interest to work with VARs and urge customers to invest in IT."
Jacqui Malpass, channel development manager at Evesham, which is hosting the organisation's first VAR recruitment event next month, said: "It is a new source of business for the channel.
"Our role is to build partnerships between VARs and accountants to provide the best systems for SMEs."
Next-generation cybersecurity is rumoured to have hired Goldman Sachs as it gears up for going public, according to Reuters report
Cisilion's Hannah Cunningham gives a shortlisted finalist's view of last week's Women in Channel Awards
Chinese cloud vendor ramps up its European presence with two London datacentres
A director at an industrial supplies company based in Cornwall reveals his dos and don'ts when it comes to how IT suppliers deal with his firm