Distributor Magirus has opened its first UK solutions centre at Bracknell with a view to expanding mid-market sales opportunities through the channel.
Andrew Binding, vice president for northern Europe at Magirus, said the Bracknell demo centre will host everything from seminars to proof-of-concept trials, full disaster recovery testing and failover testing.
Resellers can demonstrate a complete system, as opposed to many similar centres which only have it all set up in one rack.
“It is a large space; we got 50 people in there at the 2 April launch,” Binding said. “The main thing is that we are doing this because resellers are asking us for this. It focuses around our three key areas of virtualisation, storage and security.”
Solutions from any Magirus vendor can be demonstrated, and new vendors will be required to support trials of their technology in heterogeneous, real-world situations at the centre as part of signing with the distributor.
Bookings have begun, with four resellers signing up to use the centre right after the launch. “One was for a demonstration in French – and we have a French speaker,” Binding said.
The Bracknell centre will be staffed by Magirus’ team of qualified engineers and sales consultants as needed and trials will be accessible remotely online.
However, if there is sufficient demand the distributor may consider building more centres in the UK, Binding said.
“Resellers said they love it when we come and show solutions to customers, but they really also want somewhere they can bring the customers. It is getting harder to sell out there, and showing things working together can help,” Binding said.
Chris Gould, channels director at EMC, said the new demo centre is “fantastic”.
“It is really, really good, actually. It is exactly what we need, particularly in what I would call the mid-market space,” he said.
“Mid-market customers do not always get access to that type of facility through the vendors.”
Gould said mid-market customers over the last couple of years have seen their IT become as complex as in the enterprise, yet have fewer human and other resources.
From EMC’s own experience with such centres, 70 per cent of potential customers who come to experience such demonstrations actually make a purchase.
“That is a large percentage,” Gould said.
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