Communications headset manufacturer Plantronics has launched its first reseller-specific programme to form closer ties with its VAR base.
The vendor had previously relied on its network of distributors to court partners, but has launched its Connect reseller programme to improve VAR relations.
Neil Watson, channel marketing manager at Plantronics UK, said: “We run a two-tier model with about a dozen distributors such as Nimans, Crane, Rocom, Westcon Group and Micro Peripherals. We sell only through the channel.
“In terms of firms that buy our headsets we have 3,500 to 4,000 VARs, we work with 150 people and we have hands-on contact with about 25 resellers.”
Watson said the Connect programme is designed to allow Plantronics to talk to its reseller base directly and identify what they expect from the vendor.
“Out of our 3,500 to 4,000 resellers we want to find out which partners want to get more involved with us and which ones are happy enough as they are,” he said.
Watson said the programme will give resellers a better credibility message to their customers, as they will be accredited Plantronics resellers.
“Resellers will get an identity, alongside some telemarketing and visibility on our web site,” Watson added. “We have not put a figure on the amount of Connect partners we want, because it is not about the amount, but the quality.”
Guy Koster, vice-president of technology solutions at Westcon Group Europe, said: “We welcome the initiative from Plantronics. We have seen good uptake from resellers who buy Plantronics when they are ordering their telephony systems.”
The Plantronics offering had previously just been used as a call-centre product, but the addressable market has since broadened, Koster added.
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