“First up, our aim is to grow our channel in New Zealand,” says Jamie Romanin, Managing Director - Australia and New Zealand, ShoreTel.
A straight-talker with a clear vision of the company’s future in New Zealand, Romanin is unwavering in his belief that for ShoreTel to thrive on Kiwi shores, its channel hand must be strengthened.
Fresh from appointing local ICT stalwart Phil Morgan as the company’s first in-country Partner Business Manager, the unified communications provider is ramping up its efforts on a national scale, as it targets more partners, greater coverage and a stronger market share.
“Phil’s first goal is to find out the lay of the land as far as our channel is concerned as admittedly we were one step removed operating out of Australia,” Romanin explains.
“He’s been in the role since mid-January and is already actively meeting with potential partners, assessing opportunities within the market and examining where we can achieve growth.”
Responsible for significantly increasing the company’s presence across the country, Morgan’s appointment helps reaffirm ShoreTel’s commitment to the Kiwi market following a strong year of growth during 2014.
Adopting a three-pronged attack on the channel market, Morgan’s second task as ShoreTel’s on the ground Kiwi representative is to evaluate the key players within the local industry, and to assess the changing requirements from a go-to-market perspective.
In essence, and as Romanin openly acknowledges, ShoreTel is refusing to take the market for granted, instead kickstarting 2015 with open eyes and an approach befitting of a company keen to capitalise on its array of phone systems and unified communications solutions for cloud and on-premise across the region.
“To be honest, this information hasn’t always been readily available as we just haven’t had the capacity,” Romanin explains.
“But Phil knows the local market and he has the contacts to have discussions with the key players, obtaining information we weren’t receiving beforehand through flying in and out of the country each month.
“That approach doesn’t provide a clear grasp of what is going on, you tend to get a 50,000 foot view of the market and not the local details, which is what Phil can now help bring to the table.”
Morgan, who has enjoyed roles in New Zealand with Zintel Communications, Ericsson and firstly, Telecom New Zealand, now known as Spark, will also assist Romanin in executing the company’s cloud strategy, which ShoreTel hopes to rollout simultaneously on both sides of the Tasman later this year.
For Romanin, Morgan’s appointment offers the company “an extra arm on the ground”, recognising the need for face-to-face relationships and the importance of dedicating resources to the New Zealand market.
“As a vendor when you’re not having face to face relationships but your competitor is, then it becomes difficult to compete,” Romanin adds.
“Phil’s going to bring a local feel to the company and already he is in the midst of an aggressive travel schedule across the country.”
Meeting current and potentially new partners in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Invercargill to name a few, Romanin says Morgan is taking the ShoreTel conversation to the market, increasing activity and openly expanding the company’s channel network.
Truth be told, at present ShoreTel has a small group of on the ground partners in New Zealand, with around seven or eight partners across the country - but this, according to Romanin, will change.
“If you think about the traditional model across any vendor’s channel, if you have 100 partners with 20 percent of them providing the revenue, then I’ll need to have all my partners doing something,” he explains.