4Com Group has announced it is withdrawing from the channel market because of continuing conflict between its business streams that has the potential to damage its relationship with customers.
4Com launched its Channel business in Nov 2009 and has recruited over 50 partners with sales growing rapidly.
The Group Board have commented that “As our partner base has grown, we’ve found it increasingly difficult to reconcile our Channel commitments with our direct business. Whilst we were fully prepared to go all-channel, we hadn’t appreciated the number of conflicts we would come up against with our direct sales team.”
The 4Com partner model which included uniquely priced applications bundles, free sales training for partners and access to 4Com’s unique branded leasing programme caused quite a stir in the channel market and with the inclusion of Toshiba and Samsung distribution in Feb 2010 has seen strong month on month growth.
The 4Com statement continued, “We regret having to let our partners and suppliers down. However in the situation we must adopt a realistic approach and focus on our core business.”
The 4Com channel business had been driven by channel ‘heavyweights’ Roy Carter, Neil Moulton and Paul Fullman all of whom joined the venture from Truro based Datasharp. Fullman left the 4Com Group several months ago but only a few weeks ago recruited another channel veteran John Sargood as National Distribution Sales Manager.
4Com are not the first high profile reseller to call it day on channel activity. Alex Tupmann’s AT Comms audaciously bought distributor Rocom a few years back and ended up having to sell the business to competitor Nimans not long afterwards as they failed to convince resellers there was no conflict of interest.
Well, clearly there is conflict as ATC and now 4Com Group have found out. Unlike ATC however, 4Com is likely to return to winning ways under the tutorship and direction of charismatic CEO Darron Hutt who engineered one of the most well-oiled and successful direct sales operations in the history of the channel.