Datacentre power kit maker Eaton is making a concerted push for more IT channel sales, focusing on growth through distributors Micro-P and Northamber.
Paul Norgate, IT and national channel sales manager at Eaton Power Quality, told ChannelWeb at a launch event today for the vendor's 93PM uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that the IT channel holds the key to improving energy efficiency across business datacentres.
"We are targeting 25 per cent growth in revenue terms for next year through IT resellers," Norgate said. "At Micro-P, we're working with a product manager specifically looking at how we get the solution sell."
Norgate (pictured, above) said that about 90 per cent of the vendor's business goes through the channel, with the remainder being large, key account-type arrangements.
Fifty per cent of those channel sales were through IT distribution, and the rest through electrical, wholesale and power industry resellers, he said.
But the key to expansion, he indicated, was to educate the supply chain to be able to work with customers to bring them an overall offering for their infrastructure that integrated all the disparate elements – from servers to UPS to cabling to software, hardware and services – for the most efficient, cost-effective result long term.
Salespeople in particular still need a lot of education – and the right incentives – to help them sell whole, wide-ranging offerings with the business benefits that customers really want.
This was a big challenge, Norgate agreed. However, with cost high on the priority list for most organisations, green considerations were coming to the fore as a way of reducing overall cost.
"Green has never been off the agenda," he said.
Dave Oddie, distribution business development manager at Eaton, said customers are beginning to place more focus on "solutions" – partly with a view to offering something that customers cannot get from any other provider.
"Simply being competitive on pricing is not enough," Oddie said. "If there is one essential ingredient for success with a solutions-based approach, it's knowledge. Through knowledge comes understanding and through understanding comes exceptional customer service."
This means vendors must be more hands-on in supporting resellers, perhaps by providing, for example, a project team to help on larger or more complex implementations, he added.
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