UNLIKE their Australian counterparts, New Zealand IT resellers may not have the opportunity to share the BlackBerry action.
Tech Pacific and Vodafone in Australia last week announced a partnership that will see the distributor combine BlackBerry devices with Vodafone connection services in a bundle to be sold by its 5000-strong reseller base.
However, in New Zealand the device - which is causing a buzz around the world as it integrates phone, email, SMS, browser and organiser functions - is only available directly from the telecommunications giant or through its network of mobile phone dealerships, such as Digital Mobile and First Mobile.
In an interview with Australian Reseller News last week, Tech Pacific Australia PC and server category manager Josh Velling said the agreement is an attempt to provide an all-in-one data solution to the SOHO and SMB mobile workforce markets.
Tech Pacific New Zealand though, says the deal does not extend to this country, although the distributor does provide Vodafone with back-end logistics services here.
The arrangement in Australia enables SMB resellers to integrate mobile convergence solutions into their existing product offerings and provides a way for them to differentiate themselves, Velling says in the ARN report. He adds resellers will be making a margin on both the BlackBerry and Vodafone plans.
Opportunities to sell other hardware, like a dedicated BlackBerry server, and services like installation, also exist.
ARN also quotes Vodafone Australia chief commercial officer Russell Hewitt as saying the telco is seeking to go beyond its traditional distribution channels.
“By aligning ourselves with the largest IT distributor in this region we are expanding our footprint and aggressively growing our market share of the mobile data market,” Hewitt says.
The Australian deal also covers a Vodafone branded mobile connection card, which converts notebooks with a PCMCI slot into a wireless PC.
A Vodafone New Zealand spokesperson says the company's current distribution strategy is working well and it therefore has no plans to change this arrangement.