Despite 25 years in the business Leicester based distributor North Supply is relatively unknown in the channel but a new partnership with Innovaphone looks set to change all that as Business Development Manager Chris Lee explains to Ian Hunter.
North Supply offer a wide range of telephony peripheral products and services to the channel including access control systems, voice recording solutions, music on hold and messaging services, audio visual alerting / paging devices as well as telephone system pre-staging, installation, stock control and logistics services.
Chris Lee says Innovaphone has a similar background, a family owned business with over 25 years in the telecommunications market place and firmly established worldwide with resellers in over 35 countries.
Innovaphone is now focussing on the UK market and see North Supply as a perfect partner as their pure IP on premise and hosted telephony solutions which complement our range of peripherals and logistics services. Together, Innovaphone and North Supply can offer products, experience and a range of support services to provide a complete one stop solution for their sales partner in the UK.
CBM: How is North Supply handling the transition to the cloud that is taking place in the market?
CL: North Supply has already adapted our peripheral product range to work with both private and public cloud based telephony platforms to provide solutions that either connect via open or standard SIP extensions or with partners that require auto provisioning to allow for proprietary connection to their platforms.
The partnership with Innovaphone allows us to integrate peripheral products to a core platform that can adapt and migrate from premise to cloud without the need to refresh or replace peripherals as is often the case with other platforms.
This allows customers to move as required with minimum cost implications and minimal re-engineering effort from the reseller.
In being able to work with Innovaphone at a developer level – they develop both their own hardware and software, we are able to integrate their peripherals more seamlessly, able to test and simulate more customer scenarios to help support partners and to help deliver more features. One example of this is the ability to now present real time video images of visitors from their SIP Door access systems onto the high-quality displays on the Innovaphone IP200 range of desk phones.
In addition to core telephony, together we can offer an extensive range of UC features, Web RTC, application sharing, SIP audio and visual alerting devices, music and messaging services and both integrated and standalone / virtual extension and line side call recording solutions.
CBM: Where do you see the opportunities for resellers and are there products likely to remain as customer premises equipment for some time yet?
CL: Cloud may not be the solution for all customers at present and the Innovaphone product range allows a gradual migration with all on premise licences and peripherals being transferrable to the cloud at minimal cost. This provides opportunities to migrate customers from a capex to opex model where revenue streams are derived from ongoing support and the addition of new feature licenses.
We want to offer resellers a more flexible approach to hosting where technically, resellers may be able to host their Innovaphone customer cloud solution themselves or use the Innovaphone platform if preferred and are inviting partners to share with us their ideas around hosting options so we can better understand what works best for all.
CBM: What do you consider to be the competitive advantages that North Supply can pass on to your channel partners?
CL: We want to get the whole process from quote to installation and beyond both simpler and more seamless and that is why we will offer our partners web based tools that allow for quoting, order taking, order placement, customer data capture and system configuration prior to delivery to site for installation.
We will also be offering a range of support services to include sales, engineer and end user training, telephone and web based technical support, sales demonstration kits, software assurance, extended warranty and advanced hardware replacement to provide end users with confidence and resellers options to both generate revenue and minimise costs.
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