Justin Blaine, Managing Director at distributor Neowave has told Comms Business Magazine, “We have been investing heavily into three main areas within the business to ensure our new supplier relationships are delivered correctly to our partners. Firstly we have recruited more technical support and engineering staff; we have also added a dedicated training person for engineering and even end user training. This we thought was imperative when offering continuity to our partners, we believe that if an engineer is in our premises being trained by our trainer one day and then need advice the following day, when in the field, they should be able to talk to the person that trained them. Then finally we have recruited new Account Managers to offer true pre and post-sales support.”
NeoWave has from its very inception adopted a different mentality to many existing distributors. Whilst the norm is to shift as many boxes and make as much margin as possible; the NeoWave ethos has always been to offer a complimentary range of services around the products sold. Justin Blaine, Managing Director adds “We believe in offering real value within the distribution chain, the reseller needs to see this, otherwise why would they not just buy on price?” It is very clear that as we move into a more converged world of communications and the complexities within the solutions required and demanded by end customers, that resellers are looking for more help and support from their distributor. This is exactly where NeoWave has focussed its attention.
Blaine comments, “NeoWave do believe in supporting its partners properly, however recognise that there are 2 types of reseller, the ones that do not necessarily need us for anything other than a quick sanity check on equipment functionality or configuration rules and then us logistically getting the box to site, but for many other small to medium sized resellers it does matter about support services including technical back up, sales support and co-marketing.
Blaine adds “NeoWave are a completely transparent company, for instance if we get co-marketing funds from our suppliers we pass them on to the reseller, if we get special pricing or promotions we pass them on, if they hit targets to go from a silver to a gold partner they enjoy retrospective discounts on all previous purchases.” Blaine continues “It is imperative that we are whiter than white, and that includes not competing with our own channel partners either by having a direct sales force whether through the same company or a subsidiary, the distributors sole purpose should be to support the resellers and help them win business not pick and choose when we should stop the support and take the order directly.”
“NeoWave also recognise that education for resellers in new and emerging technologies is vital for them to stay ahead, being more informed helps identify opportunities when sitting in front of a customer or prospect. Therefore we will be announcing venues for a series of breakfast product and education seminars shortly throughout the country. These will in particular be used to showcase the new unified communication products from Aastra, as well as combining this with more informative analysis on products like Microsoft Lync. I believe that it is the distributor’s duty not to just get the business because they believe they are the default provider, but to go and earn it and offer real value; otherwise he warns “There are plenty of other people that are willing to work harder and smarter for the channel customer’s pound.”