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Inetco seeks partners with services expertise

The software vendor is looking for help as it branches into business transaction intelligence for POS and ATM payment networks

With the launch of version 3.1 of its Insight software solution for real-time monitoring and analysis of end-to-end payment transaction flow, Vancouver-based Intetco Systems Ltd. is preparing a formal channel program and is looking for partners to help it take the solution to market.

In business for nearly 20 years, Inetco sells primarily into the financial services and retail payments space with two distinct product lines. Its legacy business is communications gateway technologies for helping legacy networks connect with IP networks. Typical customers include major retailers, banks, credit unions and third-party payment processors.

That’s the same market Inetco is looking to serve with its newer Insight offering says Marc Morbas, Inetco’s vice-president of marketing. Targeted at operators of Point of Sale (POS) and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) payment networks, Insight correlates and displays transaction information captured at the network, transport and application layers, which the company says allows IT managers to easily perform network health checks and pro-actively solve problems, improving network uptime.

The communications gateway space is a mature market, says Morbas, with a handful of experienced, larger players such as IBM. Many vendors are exiting the market though, as with more companies moving to IP backbones there’s less of an opportunity around connecting legacy networks to IP networks.

However, for Insight, the competition tends to be home-grown solutions and monitoring systems. “That’s why we’ve built the Inetco Insight product, that’s really where the future opportunity is for our company,” said Morbas.

Inetco does a lot of its global sales through resellers and VARs, says Morbas. The partner will typically own the customer accounts and relationships, and bring Inetco and its sales team in when its technology is needed, to help seal the deal.

“In that case we extend them varying margins, fairly standard margins for referring the account,” said Morbas. “We’re essentially co-selling with them at a certain phase in the account, but they’re owning the master deal.”

With its move into a new market space Morbas says Inetco is currently developing a formal channel program that will be launched in the new year. He adds the channel is going to be “a key ingredient” to play in bringing the Insight offering to market.

“There’s always risks around new technologies, so having a partner channel and a good channel to market really helps,” said Morbas. “We’re looking for partners that have a presence in the kinds of accounts we’re looking at.”

In particular, Morbas says Inetco will be looking for systems integrators that own large retail accounts, as well as smaller specialized partners that have expertise in POS systems deployed within retail environments.

Inetco also signed an ISV agreement with Stratus Technologies, a Maynard, Mass.-based global solutions provider specializing in fault tolerant servers and services configured for continuous availability, primarily for the financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing and health care verticals.

A key application for Stratus’ servers is point of sales systems says Stratus spokesperson Joseph Hyland, with each transaction running in unison on both servers and all information duplicated.

“Industries that can’t afford downtime is where we specialize,” said Hyland.

Products from Inetco and Stratus will form an end-to-end solution for real-time transaction monitoring, logging and analysis of ATM and POS transaction flow and network performance. Hyland says Stratus had worked with Inetco previously, using its communications gateway solution to help customers with legacy protocol connectivity requirements migrate their transaction-driving applications to Stratus’ industry-standard servers.

“It was the prior working relationship that led us to sign the ISV agreement with Inetco, but the real future potential is their Insight product and the business transaction intelligence that provides,” said Hyland. “We think the real opportunity is around Insight.”