Value-added distributor seeks opportunities in SMB market

Ottawa-based Interwork Technologies Inc., a specialist distribution company focusing on connectivity, security and VoIP solutions, is now offering unified communications (UC) vendor, Fonality’s, entire range of solutions in its line card that target the SMB space.

To help bring these solutions to market, Tim Larocque, director of business development at Interwork Technologies, said the company will be leveraging its current North American partner base in addition to launching a channel initiative to aggressively target and recruit new partners dealing in the UC space.

“We have about 4,500 total partners in North America which is made up of local and national resellers and service providers,” Larocque said. “We have about 1,500 partners here in Canada. Now that we’re offering Fonality’s solutions, our strategy is to approach existing resellers and recruit new ones to sell to small businesses across the country.”

The value-added distributor which deals in both Canada and the U.S., Larocque said, will offer Fonality’s complete lineup of IP phone solutions and services. He maintains that its primary area of focus will be mainly in the SMB space, which is an area he says that shows the biggest growth opportunities. He cites three years ago as an example when he said the company first added its voice solutions division and said that its sales have since then increased by 160 per cent overall.

Interwork Technologies’ voice solutions division, he adds, represents about 15 per cent of the company’s total business.

“It’s considered as an emerging market for us,” Larocque notes. “In the next two to three years, we think VoIP will actually take over our security division. We’re seeing exponential growth in the U.S. and Canada in this space,” he adds.

For the channel, Larocque said partners can receive anywhere between 20 and 35 per cent profit margins on Fonality products, which he adds, offer users choice, price and performance all packed into one product.

“We also offer free technical training and sales training for our partners,” he said. “We also emphasize to them the idea and importance of bundling. Partners have the opportunity to bundle phone systems with software and security. All of the Fonality products that we now carry are complimentary to our current solution portfolio and it’s really the simplicity of plug and play.”

Larocque also mentions Interwork Technologies offers partners marketing products, support and access to its sales boot camps, where he says resellers can learn more about VoIP solutions and how to sell products based on value and solution.

“In the Canadian market, we want our partners to focus on these products as an educational sell,” Larocque said. “As Fonality’s preferred supplier, there’s not another distributor in Canada who can offer them these products.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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