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New revenue opportunity for IT channel

North Supply has secured exclusive UK distribution rights for the innovaphone range of IP telephony and Unified Communications (UC) solutions and is looking to the IT reseller community to expand its network of channel partners

Established in 1992, telephony solution specialist North Supply has been a certified BT partner for over 25 years, supplying products and services to more than 50,000 customers throughout the UK.

In a significant development for the company, North Supply has signed an exclusive UK distribution agreement with innovaphone, a Stuttgart-based manufacturer of IP telephony and unified communications (UC) solutions that already operates in 35 countries worldwide.

Together, the two companies plan to build a UK network of 30 resellers, covering 95% of the population, and are actively targeting IT resellers as a route to market for innovaphone’s diverse range of German-engineered communications solutions.

These include its core IP PBX; a choice of IP handsets and DECT/WiFi wireless phones; VoIP gateways; a UC solution and desktop client; a video-based door entry system; and specialist applications, such as call recording, fax server, web RTC conferencing and on-hold and auto-attendant messaging services.

North Supply Managing Director Richard Potts says that because the innovaphone range is IP-based, it is an attractive proposition for IT resellers looking to diversify into the profitable telecoms sector.

“Innovaphone is a logical step for resellers that already provide IT/data-related voice products, such as Cisco, as well as dealers who want to add voice capability to their portfolio. We have worked closely with innovaphone to develop a margin-rich model that provides channel partners with a great opportunity to attract new customers, as well as to increase stickiness with existing clients,” he said.

Attractive rewards

To meet the needs of UK partners, North Supply has adapted innovaphone’s multi-tier partner programme to offer higher margins and UK-based training courses.

“We offer a multi-tiered approach, where additional levels of margin are available for higher levels of commitment. Some partners can be up-and-running in as little as half a day, while others looking to achieve a higher level of accreditation can expect to invest around three days initially in training. The higher the commitment, the higher the reward,” said Potts.

The lowest tier is for referral partners – typically consultants or resellers with limited in-house technical resource or ones that are not yet ready to invest in engineer training – who receive a referral fee. “Essentially, referral partners provide the lead and North Supply will manage the entire process, from pre-sales, demonstration and quote through to installation and after-sales technical support,” explained Potts.

Authorised resellers that make more of a commitment to innovaphone include Innovaphone Authorised Sales Agents, who configure and sell in a solution but leave the installation to North Supply, and Innovaphone Authorised IP Connect Partners that will install systems themselves and undertake full product and installation training.

“There are also more advanced partner levels reflecting greater margins, but typically IP Connect Partners would enjoy up to 30% margins,” added Potts.

Tools and resources

North Supply and innovaphone provide partners with all the sales and engineering training they need, through UK-based training courses and an online portal, as well as telephone and desktop sales support; portable demonstration systems to support onsite customer sales visits; a dedicated customer demonstration suite; a system configuration and pre-staging service that aims to reduce installation time; and a range of warranty, software assurance and advanced replacement services.

There is also an online quote tool that enables partners to produce proposals, with the option to add in products and services that are bespoke to them. “This,” said Potts, “makes system configuration simple and easy for partners, as well as enabling higher accredited partners to do bespoke builds.”

Resellers interested in becoming an innovaphone partner can find out more at an open day being held by North Supply in April. As well as introducing the product range, it will show pre-staging facilities where products are prepared prior to despatch to the reseller or end user. For details, please visit www.northsupply.com.

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2018