Vodafone gets into channel stockings

Vodafone gets into channel stockings

IT may not turn out to be white but Vodafone is promising a 3G Christmas with its latest range of devices.

“We have pulled together an outstanding collection this Christmas as our suppliers have really come to the party with the best of their range,” says Kieren Cooney, Vodafone general manager.

Mobility is a key theme with mobile connect cards and the range of I-mate devices loaded with the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system.

And, aside from one low-range phone, all are going through the channel.

Hamish Switalla, Vodafone sales and marketing manager, is delighted that smart devices are being offered to resellers.

“Vodafone believes the channel is ideal for servicing and supporting these products post sale,” he says.

Since this is Vodafone’s first Christmas with the channel, Switalla admits his company isn’t sure what sales to anticipate.

“I know the applications are ideal for businesses, who have the same needs as consumers. Plus there is generally an uplift in sales this time of year.”

One of the company’s resellers, Softsource Solutions, is in the same frame of mind.

“This is the first Christmas we’ll have sold these products so it’s hard to tell. But there’s been a lot of corporate interest from organisations that want to get their workforce mobile,” says general manager Pablo Garcia-Curtis.

Garcia-Curtis sees a lot of potential in the market.

“Once the customer success stories come out more companies will feel confident about giving it a go.”

Maclean Computing is a Vodafone premier data partner.

Managing director Allan Maclean says that although it’s still early days his company has already received several serious inquiries.

“I’m pretty excited about where this is going. Like anything else it will take time to become familiar but I think mobility could dramatically change the IT industry in the next five years,” he says.

Maclean says Vodafone has taken a different approach from the traditional telco channel.

“I think the data market is quite a different paradigm. Whipped cream and strawberries doesn’t impress the channel — professionalism does.”

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