Vodafone chases VAR channel with one-stop shop

Vodafone chases VAR channel with one-stop shop

Vodafone wants its VAR channel to help the company's push to be a total communications provider by encouraging IT resellers to work with its premium dealers.

National sales general manager Grant Hopkins says the value-added reseller programme, which has been in place for over a year and attracted more than 200 resellers, has been slower to develop than the company expected because resellers haven’t understood their potential to add value.

He says the telco wants VARs to cooperate more with premium dealers such as First Mobile, Digital Mobile and Driving Sound stores, with voice specialists particularly in regional centres and among small and medium businesses.

“We can take an IT specialist and a voice specialist in the same area and they can work better together than separately. We’re facilitating the relationships where we see synergies, and premium dealers are encouraged to work with VARs in the region.”

Hopkins says Vodafone has effectively serviced the small business market of about five to 10 connections through its direct market channel, but the channel has a chance to service firms with 10 to 100 employees.

“That’s an area where premium dealers are reasonably strong but not as strong as they could be.”

He says with the purchase of ihug and its push into fixed line services, Vodafone partners are now able to provide a full communications offering.

Hopkins says Vodafone has been more successful in main centres because of its younger target demographic but has a strong opportunity to develop in regions with growing populations, particularly among small businesses there.

“We haven’t really ignored those areas but we haven’t really put our best foot forward either,” he says.

Hopkins also says Vodafone has recognised that customers value local buying relationships.

The telco has given each of its four regional sales and marketing heads responsibility for both consumer and business markets – a change from its previous consumer/business division split. Hopkins says each part of the business now contribute fairly equally to the company.

As well as premium dealers, its go to market push comprises direct sales and an indirect retail channel, some that exclusively sell Vodafone and some that don’t.

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