2012: Year of the reseller as trusted advisor

2012: Year of the reseller as trusted advisor

Snappernet's Richard Paul says the more things change, the more they stay the same

Local New Zealand distributor SnapperNet has seen its ecosystem go through some alterations in recent histories, with mergers, acquisitions and partnerships apparently on the rise.

“I’ve seen over the last year though quite a few companies merging or purchasing others, and we’re getting sometimes two or three resellers joining forces,” Richard Paul, director at Snappernet says.

“And sometimes it’s a financial thing and sometimes it’s a merging of skill bases and some groups of resellers that have decided that to be in the market they need to have a set of skills they don’t have and they’ve gone and found it somewhere else and partnered on a more permanent basis.”

This has not changed the reseller plays in the marketplace, as far as Paul is concerned.

“I think nothing’s changed in the 20 years I‘ve been involved in the industry and that is that the reseller has to be the key point of contact for their customers,” he says. “They have to know their customers business needs and then find the appropriate services to fit that need, be it selling hardware or services or a combination. It’s about finding the appropriate technology for the customers’ business.”

They are still going to be generally, the first point of contact for their customers,” he says. “They are the general practitioner and when you go to a doctor, the GP will sometimes refer you to a specialist.”

Paul says what is important for Snappernet’s relatively small-sized resellers is for them to get “the infrastructure right” for their customers to handle video, voice, Internet and data.

Paul says smaller resellers must acts as their client’s trusted advisors because “that’s essentially what they have to be to add value”, and something that large resellers that might “own the infrastructure” and “wholesale virtualisation” can not provide to small businesses.

“The reseller shouldn’t feel threatened as long as they can understand the customer and provide them with good consultation and find the right services. There’s a lot of confusion in end user land as to what the next step is for them.”

“What we’re talking to resellers about is getting the infrastructure and gateway right for quality of service and bandwidth and security,” he says.

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