Run Rates

Run Rates

Andrew Saunders

One year after his appointment at Crane Telecommunications Andrew Saunders, managing director of their Mitel and Nortel business unit gives readers an update on progress and plans for the future.

The Mitel business at Crane has got off to a very solid start according to Saunders, “It’s never enough but tracking largely as we had planned. There are two sides to our Mitel business. One side is providing fulfilment on behalf of Mitel to some of their larger direct reseller accounts – Mitel recognised that Crane, as a distributor, is better set up to provide this logistics delivery. The other side is all about recruiting net new channel partners and developing sales from those companies. That is going very well and we are getting a lot of interest particularly around their new baby products the CX and CXi. So much so that we have had to increase the number of people in the Crane Mitel team to support this activity. “In the year since I joined Crane the resource


With multi-million pound deals taking place in a high-pressure environment, Daewoo came to Storacall with two simple requirements – a robust, mission critical recording system that was simple and easy to use. After lengthy investigations into the options available to them Storacall’s Voistore recorder was selected for this purpose. Asoka Peiris, Head of IT at Daewoo Securities Europe Limited said; “In the year since I joined Crane the resource has increased significantly; we have a product marketing manager, pre-sales, a dedicated Mitel technical trainer, field-based Mitel technical support staff that can provide post sales services and a sales team under Michael Brocklehurst. The back office team is combined with the Nortel products for order processing and internal sales support. A lot of investment as we want to do it properly – our value at Crane lies in having a high level of product knowledge within the business and delivering a high level of customer service.

“We are not the first Mitel distributor in the market, I believe we have come in at number four, pricing is largely dictated by Mitel so we can’t lead on price but where we can lead and differentiate is through being more knowledgeable and better equipped to deal with the products and the service issues. More on-line ordering tools and better back office support this differentiation and makes dealing with Crane for Mitel products a pleasing experience.”

Saunders says that Mitel is displaying great thought leadership and positioning with their close association with Microsoft ; in particular with Live Communication Server. “It is great positioning now and I think it will lead to some real product opportunities in the future but we all need to understand where the tangible benefits are for the user.

“I believe that Mitel is the most channelcentric PBX supplier in the market. From an almost totally direct operation a few years ago they have turned around their go to market strategy completely to become channel-centric.”

Moving on to Nortel, which was in the Crane portfolio prior to Mitel, how is that operation performing?

“We have officially been trading Nortel product since January this year and have grown our sales volumes 100% quarter on quarter. There is lot more opportunity for resellers to sell Nortel systems than into the existing BT installed base. For example, if you have a customer with a large legacy investment, and it is not a Nortel system, then I think Mitel, with their gateway capability, is a good proposition. If it is an existing Nortel customer then you would be absolutely mad not to take advantage of the forward upgrade path offered by Nortel. These are supported by some good marketing and promotional programmes from Nortel themselves and available via Crane. We will be publicising these offers to the channel shortly.

“BCM50, which was launched in June this year, is doing well and there are new versions of their contact centre product coming out. What Crane has been able to put in place is a wrap around service which includes putting out a large number of leads to our BCM partners that have been generated by our participation in the Comms4Business web site.

“We also have a series of BCM sales incentives, quarter 4 rebate schemes and are about to undertake a telesales program to provide more leads and we are doing a lot of sales training – all the core things you need to do to grow and support a channel program.

“From a standing start a year ago we are making a significant contribution to the business. The annualised run rate for Nortel alone shows we have a £6 million a year business. We are absolutely looking for Nortel to grow our business and we are still seeking to recruit more partners for both Nortel and Mitel products. For Nortel I need to focus on recruiting more resellers for their flagship product the CS1000 as these take a while to develop and increasingly we will move more into the more date-centric parts of the channel to find these resellers.
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