We last spoke to Creation Application twelve months ago as they embarked on educating the Channel in the margin opportunities possible with app development. By offering bespoke white labeled app services to Channel partners they are bringing something new and exciting to the table. Here, Dom Ferkin gives us an update after a year of explosive growth.
Comms Business (CB): Last time we spoke you were only just scratching the surface with the Channel, how has the last year been for you?
Dom Ferkin (DF): The last year has been fantastic. Direct sales have gone crazy for us and I have had to employ a new Business Development Manager to deal with that side for us. I have had circa twenty partners waiting for me to go out and see them and now I can focus on them and the indirect stuff more, which for me is incredibly exciting as it’s what I know best.
CB: What kind of resellers are you working with right now?
DF: We have a plethora of partners approaching us, from traditional telecoms resellers to advertising agencies who are looking to increase their portfolio offering. We have also recently agreed a partnership with Stormfront UK who are the largest Apple Premium Reseller in the UK with 23 retail stores. I didn’t necessarily see this coming but Stormfront are working hard on their B2B offering and have a huge amount of businesses buying Apple kit from them. Once discussions opened it became increasingly clear how logical the tie up would be, at the end of the day Apple hardware and mobile enterprise solutions go hand in hand. It’s a pretty good situation for us all as we are able to source kit and they are able to offer the enterprise client mobile solutions on top of their hardware, and around 80% of businesses are buying hardware to house either an existing solution or look to have a new one developed and deployed across their hardware.
CB: How many partners do you have now?
DF: Partner wise we have close to thirty now and the plan is, now we have staffed up, we can focus on the Channel more. I would like to get to the magic one hundred partner mark by the end of the year and judging by the enquiries there is no reason why that won’t happen.
CB: What is the appetite for bespoke apps like right now?
DF: The appetite for apps is still absolutely huge, especially in the enterprise arena. There is still an education piece going on, some of the traditional comms resellers truly embrace the digital opportunity but others need to understand how it can increase their margins, which we are more than happy to demonstrate. The Channel as we traditionally know can sometimes be stuck in the 1990’s and they need to start looking at these new technologies to bolster their falling margins.
I was talking to someone I know in the Channel recently and they were telling me about a deal they had just done for a hundred iPads and they were thrilled with the 100 connection bonus. I asked him what the customer was using the iPads for and he hadn’t even asked the question! They are buying a hundred iPads for a reason and there is likely to have been an opportunity to build software, as an enterprise solution, for them, which could double, or triple the margin on the deal. I’m really trying to hammer that message home and I want resellers to realise this opportunity and not miss out.
CB: What does the Creation team look like these days?
DF: The whole development team is in Sri Lanka now and we are probably looking to grow that by 50% in the next twelve months, although it may be done quicker judging by the projects we are taking on. We have seen a huge demand for enterprise applications, so we need to grow and cope with that demand. Keith De Alwis is heading up the team in Sri Lanka and is the busiest he’s ever been as is the whole business. We have our UK head office based out of Cheltenham, which I head up and it houses our sales and admin functions.
CB: Can you tell us about who you are talking to these days?
DF: We are talking to a huge number of large brands looking for the most bleeding edge technology like Beacons (aka iBeacons) and finding ways to transform their businesses opportunities and productivity. We are also in discussions with three major networks at the moment, a couple in the UK and one in Asia, about what we can do for them which is encouraging as they are taking notice of us. Some of our competitors are also working with the networks but because of our history in the partner Channel I want to keep the Channel close and deal directly with them. Up until now the indirect arm of our business has seen encouraging growth but we are now seeing that explode as more and more partners from many different channels approach us looking to bolster their portfolio offerings and of course margin.
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