Digi rethinks channel strategy

Digi International's Australian operation has launched a new-look channel strategy geared around supporting a select number of integrator/reseller partners.

The networking components vendor has unveiled a new initiative dubbed Digi Consulting Services (DCS) whereby channel partners who meet certain criteria will enjoy significant marketing investments, special rebates, increased margins and additional training and support.

Digi Australia's managing director, Gary Spooner, told ARN the company was looking to protect focussed Digi partners from opportunistic resellers whose lack of expertise in Digi products and poor customer support was detracting from the Digi brand in the market.

Although the number of integrators/VARs has not been set in stone, Spooner claims Digi will appoint between 100-300 preferred partners across the country determined by geographic coverage, in-house skills and specific vertical markets.

"We're being very prudent when selecting integrators for this group," Spooner said. "We want to make them feel embraced [by Digi] and we're willing to put some marketing dollars on them."

"To help assure the success of DCS we have made the qualification process quite stringent. There is a range of strict criteria VARs will have to meet in order to qualify," he added. "DCS has been formed in response to the need for a streamlining of, and an overall improvement in, Digi product delivery, installation and support processes."

The move to form DCS comes at a time when industry rumours have cast a cloud over Digi's distribution channels. While it is clear Tech Pacific has become Digi's major distributor, Spooner adamently asserts the company is still selling through troubled Sealcorp.

Although Spooner told ARN the company "will continue to look at its go to market strategy" it is sticking with Sealcorp.

"Sealcorp does a good job for what it is," he said.

Spooner claims the DCS model is a joint initiative with Tech Pacific, that will ensure that the product delivery, service and training needs of the channel and product end-user organisations are effectively addressed."

In related news, Digi has launched an Asia-Pacific Training and Support Centre focussed largely on the application of Digi's communications adapter cards in the Microsoft and Linux environments.

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