A new company has been formed to manage channel relationships for vendors, especially overseas companies that don't have enough resources to put feet on the ground in Australia or New Zealand.
Derek Austin, manager at Channel Managers, said many overseas vendors found that setting up an Australasian office or signing a third-party to manage their local channel was too costly. Yet local knowledge and expertise were needed to run an effective channel strategy.
'The old model was that you appointed a distributor to look after the country for you. There's value in having a company that's in Australia to do that,' he said. 'But the old model has become expensive to employ in terms of the current environment.'
He said that Channel Managers was formed to address that need. The company was a way for vendors to outsource their channel management.
'We offer the benefit of that model without the cost and the investment in getting it up and running,' Austin said.
Channel Managers wouldn't take work away from local resellers or distributors because they weren't actually selling the product themselves, but doing what vendor employees normally did, Austin claimed.
'We're really looking after the selling process,' he said.
He said Channel Managers had signed US scanning and imaging applications provider ScanSoft, Canadian photo-editing software maker iseemedia and Taiwan digital video-editing and photo-editing software vendor NewSoft Technology as clients since opening in November.
Channel Managers was owned by a group of investors in Melbourne. So far, the company had two staff - based in Sydney and Melbourne - but hoped to expand to fit an expected client base of five or six companies by the end of this year, Austin said.
'We have the potential to expand this to other countries, such as Singapore or Malaysia or something. We are talking about that as well,' he said.
NewSoft Technology was signed in April. The contract was for sales and marketing services for NewSoft applications in the Australian and New Zealand markets, Austin said.
Charles Huang, vice-president of international sales for NewSoft, said he expected the Channel Managers arrangement to prove efficient and flexible. Channel Managers would work to sign up mainstream distributors for NewSoft applications, he said.