Comms Business Magazine talks to James Palmer, CEO of Nine Group, about how his firm is helping resellers tap in to the mobile market and unleash the potential that lies within it.
With business confidence returning to the UK market and surveys suggesting the need for firms to invest in new technology and applications Comms Business Magazine editor Ian Hunter spoke to James Palmer of Nine Group to look at the potential opportunities for resellers.
Comms Business Magazine (CBM): What are the key trends and markets you see for resellers in 2014?
James Palmer (JP): The Cloud and Mobility. However, not everyone has a compelling reason to adopt either cloud based applications or switch everything over to IP. We are more likely, and here we agree with the Cloud Industry Forum’s latest report ‘UK Cloud Trends and the Rise of Hybrid IT, to see a continued mix and integration of CPE and Cloud for some while.
But, the adoption of mobile and mobility-based applications can be a far more compelling proposition for user and resellers alike.
CBM: What is Nine Group planning in order to take advantage of this and how will those plans benefit your channel partners?
JP: Nine will be aggressive on pricing and provide professional support to the channel.
It’s clear that some resellers considering the market are struggling to get to grips with the mobile model. How do they manage and set tariffs and bill end users? How do you give away a £600 handset and still make money? These are real concerns for resellers and Nine Group can provide the skills and advice on how to answer these questions and more.
Here’s an interesting scenario to consider. Most resellers tend to make their margins from products that are predominantly used or based in a fixed office environment. But, as we all know, people are spending less and less time in that office either choosing to work remotely or from home.
There are a total of 168 hours in a week of which we could say that 56 hours are spent sleeping. This leaves 112 hours when we are awake. Even if you spent all of your working time, say 40 hours, in the office then that in turn leaves 72 hours or 64% of awake hours away from the office.
So many resellers are only making money from 36% of time their customers are awake! We need to target those other hours, we all know people are working evenings and weekends these days, even if it’s just the odd text/call or email on a smartphone. This is a great margin opportunity
CBM: How can resellers address this opportunity to make money from users when they are not in their office then?
JP: Many would say BYOD but businesses do not want staff having sensitive company information and data on devices over which they have little control. Choosing your own device (CYOD) is a more relevant proposition for business but in both cases the business has to have a firm security wrap that includes infrastructure, mobile device management and insurance etc. The opportunities for the channel can therefore include VPN access, terminal services and hosted CRM for example.
CBM: How can we motivate the channel to exploit these opportunities with their customers?
JP: It’s understandable that many resellers may be reluctant to get their heads around the mobile and mobility solutions play. With 100’s of tariffs and other bolt on options the whole process needs simplification, which is where Nine Group, through our support for the channel, comes in.
The rewards for resellers that can successfully enter this market are very good and Nine Group is set to make them even more appealing in 2014. A standard £100.00 for each new O2 connection plus 40% of the retail spend including bolt on is clearly attractive but we are adding to that. For the first 50 connections per Reseller in 2014, a further Purple Partner £100 per connection bonus, to total an eye-catching £200 will be paid! That amounts to a potential extra £5000 bonus for each reseller which will go a long way to justifying the time taken to get their heads around the mobile proposition.
In summary, resellers working with Nine Group do not have to be mobile and mobility specialists to exploit this market and grab the opportunity as we can provide the support and skills required and even help construct their deals for them.
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