Since its expansion into Canada three years ago, Computer Data Source (CDS), a Eatontown, N.J.-based company, with Canadian offices in Markham, Ont. and Montreal, has been focused on the SMB customer and partner space.
The IT services company offers third-party support and service for out-of-warranty OEM hardware for Canadian businesses that span from the 200 to 500-size range. CDS offers support on close to 150 different model numbers across all of the vendors it supports, some of which include: HP, Compaq, Sun, IBM, EMC and NetApp, just to name a few.
In supporting customers in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary, Tom Vaisanen, general manager of Canada for CDS, says the company is actively seeking out channel partners to help extend its footprint in the country.
“We’re going after the channel,” Vaisanen said. “We believe in offering our channel partners a one-stop shop for IT services because we can help them expand their current portfolios and help them bid on contracts they couldn’t do before.”
Martin Seto, reseller sales and marketing manager at CDS, says CDS will recruit partners using an active and direct approach. Seto says partners would be interested in working with CDS because there’s no capital investment required and most importantly, he says partners can obtain double-digit margins of at least 25 per cent leading up to 50 per cent.
“What’s great is that partners can outsource to us and the service can be branded by the reseller,” Seto said. “This is an opportunity that lets resellers go to their clients to help them save money because what if the economy goes into a cost-cutting mode? That would be their biggest value proposition,” he adds.
Albert Poole, vice-president of DigiDyne, a CDS partner for the past three years, says its partnership with them has brought nothing but success for the Montreal-based IT services company.
“Before our partnership, we were strong on the Sun platform,” Poole said. “With CDS, we can now offer support on the higher-end HP systems, StorageTek and EMC hardware. This makes us a lot stronger because it helps us complete our service portfolio.”
Unlike DigiDyne, Compugen, a Richmond Hill, Ont.-based IT service provider and PC systems integrator, is a company that is just beginning its partnership with CDS.
Gerry Skipwith, vice-president of Compugen, says while Compugen has not yet done any work to date with CDS, he says he does see the potential to become partners with them.
“Given that CDS covers the mid-market, we want to move into this space without a lot of up front investment,” Skipwith said. “We continue to remain very optimistic.”
Currently, Vaisanen says CDS is looking to further expand its current partnerships and is looking for partners who are focused on one or two product lines. More specifically, he says the company also hopes to expand into the Winnipeg and Vancouver regions in 2008, so finding a partner who has a footprint in Western Canada is crucial.
While a partner program is also currently in the works, Seto says CDS is putting together a training and support blueprint right now.
“This will include sales training, product knowledge, marketing and support,” Seto said. “We’re also going to support our partners with lead-generation programs. Depending on the contracts, we’ll even fly resellers up in-house for training as required as well.”
With the abundance of different vendors and products in today’s IT market space, Vaisanen says partners should approach CDS with product model numbers to see if they can be supported. And if they can’t support it, Seto says CDS will help partners find the support they need.
“We let our resellers go to their existing customers to help extend their ROI (return on investment),” Vaisanen said. “We give their customers the option of extending the life of their hardware once it goes out-of-warranty. We want to make everything as simple and cost-effective as we can for them and this is a great opportunity for partners,” he adds.