Three months after it rebranded as Comparex, the company formerly known as PC-Ware is building new vendor relationships and pondering UK expansion.
The German-owned firm, which has 75 offices in 28 countries globally and employs 1,700 staff, is still going through its rebranding in various territories, with the UK second to make the move back in July.
Mike Chambers (pictured), managing director of Comparex UK, said: “The rebranding exercise went very well for us in the UK. Over the course of the past month or two we have done a lot of new work with NetApp, Overland and Compellent.
“Our plan is not to move away from being a software reseller, but we wanted to offer more proof of concept and work before the actual licence purchase, enabling organisations to realise why they should be buying software and how well it can work for them. That is what we were able to do after the rebrand – get involved in more consultancy and generate incremental revenue for our vendor partners.”
He said the VAR’s revenue with VMware and Citrix has doubled over the past four months, compared with the previous year. “We have had a few large customer wins over the past four months or so and the rebrand has definitely played a part in that,” he said.
When asked if there was any nostalgia in the market for the PC-Ware brand, he replied: “The PC-Ware brand has been around for 20 years and there were a number of people in the group who grew up on it. But Comparex has been around for 30 years. In the IT industry we are used to change every half hour. And the branding really has not had any negative impact whatsoever.”
In fact, the name change has attracted new vendor partners, Chambers said. “We were always looking for new vendors – for example, Overland is a new vendor, as is NetApp – and we are looking at partnering with a vendor called VirtualSharp in the near future.”
Comparex UK has plans to expand, he revealed. “From an office point of view we are looking at opportunities at the moment. It is possible we may open another office in the UK and we are considering sites in York, Manchester, Sheffield and Cardiff – possibly all four,” he said.
“In the UK we are currently focusing on organic growth, but that is not to say that we will not be looking at acquisitions over the next 12 months or so.” He also said the firm was keen to add extra headcount and is considering implementing its own graduate scheme.
“It is important to get some new blood into the industry, and although it is tempting to recruit from existing resellers, it is equally necessary to bring in some new talent to sales, technical and professional services,” he said.
The cloud is also playing its part in Comparex’s growth. “We are not offering our own hosted cloud solution, but we work with a large amount of hosting partners, enabling them to purchase the necessary licences for their solutions,” added Chambers.
Comparex UK has firm plans for the future. “In the coming months we will be looking to enhance our newer relationships and also looking to add some new vendors into our SaaS team,” he said. “And we are looking to expand our professional services capabilities.
“One of the other big changes for us is the Microsoft rebate changes. We are embracing those changes and feel it encourages us to bring new technologies and organisations on board. It gets us more involved in solution stack sales, rather than just licensing.”
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