Connector shores up VoIP business

Connector shores up VoIP business

Although it’s been around for over 26 years, networking distributor Connector Systems is looking to the future with its commitment to VoIP technology.

Connector has just signed an exclusive Australasian distribution agreement with US-based IP telephony specialist Shoretel. Andrew Gurr, CEO, says his company actively went after the Shoretel account and has invested a lot of effort readying the product for the New Zealand market.

“The pedigree and performance is second to none. Shoretel has turned the IP world upside down — it has the fastest-growing IP product in the world and outstrips its competitors in terms of customer satisfaction,” he says.

In fact, says Gurr, Shoretel has never had a customer pull the product out.

Shoretel has done away with much of the complexity around IP installation, according to Gurr.

“Voice engineering is extremely complex but this phone system isn’t. I don’t want to scare resellers into thinking they’ll be made redundant but this product line takes a lot of the hassle out of IP phones.”

Gurr says his company has targeted a close group of tech-savvy resellers on both sides of the Tasman. This latest account comes on the back of a solid two years of business transformation at Connector.

Still a family-owned-and-operated business, Connector opened shop in 1979 distributing connectors and components to a wide range of industries. Over the last five years the company has moved to converged technologies backed up by support services designed to aid its resellers.

“In the early 1990s we had four main competitors, by the end of that decade we had over 25,” says Gurr.

Now the company has the ability to design, configure and support networking equipment with a full engineering team.

“The idea is to support resellers as much as possible. It’s hard for most medium-sized resellers to keep up with the technology. Since we put the team in place demand has grown by over 100%.”

It’s this sort of vision that has scored Connector the largest government infrastructure contract in New Zealand.

Connector beat out competitors such as IBM, Telecom and Datacom to win the Ministry of Education tender to upgrade the IT infrastructure for 300 schools. Gurr says this deal has benefited Connector’s reseller channel which has access to a significant amount of work.

“We realised the company needed to be out there bidding for the large contracts in order to pass the work on to resellers. To that effect we now have a full team focused on service and sales.”

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