Online distribution company, Acquire, is gearing up to increase its enterprise business as well as offering Procurement as a Service for resellers.
Acquire director, Kelly Raines, said, “As we become more mature we’re pushing into enterprise level solutions. We’ve been around for nearly 13 years. We’re reliable and we get support from the vendors at that level now. We can sell IBM level storage because we’ve shown that we can."
Acquire’s corporate customers had traditionally been buying end-user products through the Auckland-based company using the web sales process but had not approached Acquire for back-room solutions.
“For a long time we purposely stayed away from that type of customer because it is so competitive. The people you’re bidding against would have a light margin and that wasn’t where we saw our strengths. But now we’re finding with them dropping off a bit there’s an opportunity in there.”
He said with the backing of HP, Acquire has been able to bid for high-level storage solutions and compete against the established players in the market. “HP came in and backed us and said ‘these guys are just as trustworthy as the other guys, and you can trust them with this deal, they won’t muck it up.’”
“We’re going through another growth phase. The dip in the market suited our on line model. People have been shopping around a bit more. And that’s played into our hands.”
Raines said Procurement as a Service, where Acquire uses its buying power and product certification on behalf of other resellers in a profit shift deal, is a hard sell but it’s a business well worth going for. Acquire is not intending to offer engineering services so the relationship works well with companies that are looking to broker deals based on services.
“You need to develop those relationships and most of those situations are being lead through distribution.”
Raines said software sales through Acquire have been on a long decline due to the big companies such as Adobe and Microsoft moving towards Cloud-based business models. “We’ve noticed a drop in software with Microsoft pushing people online and other software companies such as Adobe and Semantic getting people to renew through them.”
Over the past few years he said hardware sales had largely remained the same with the exception of servers, sales of which have steadily declined. On the other hand, sales of NAS storage have increased.
Raines puts that down to the real instances of disaster recovery in NZ and overseas.
He said customers still want a local copy of their data and software in their hand; hence the popularity of NAS drives.
“They don’t want it all on line. People have become a lot more aware of their data and that they can’t afford to lose it, especially with all these earthquakes going on.”
Raines said keeping the cost-of-sale down has been key to delivering efficient services for Acquire customers. And making the buying process as easy as possible for his customers has been a focal point of the company’s strategy.
“We focus on making the tools easier for our customers to procure through us. About half of our business goes through the website, and that’s in terms of sales numbers and not in terms of dollars. The remainder is customer involvement through either phone or email orders.”