Alcatel has shelled out for extra staff to boost channel sales by generating leads in the field, particularly targeting verticals such as energy and manufacturing.
Vaughan Webster, national channels manager at Alcatel, said the telecommunications provider had assigned a formal "direct touch" sales team of three to help its channel ramp up sales.
"Looking across the market, Alcatel's presence could be expanded in some particular verticals, such as oil and gas and manufacturing," he said.
The "direct touch" team would help lift brand awareness, increase sales, identify sales opportunities and bring "quality" leads to Alcatel channel partners. The direct touch team would not keep leads for itself but pass them all on to resellers, he said.
One new hire would be based in New Zealand, another would cover Australia's south while the third would continue working in Queensland, covering north Australia in a more formalised arrangement than previously, Webster said.
"We spent a lot of time and effort on our go-to-market model and now's the time to bring the direct touch element into that model," he said.
Alcatel's resellers had been performing well but were necessarily all different organisations with their own needs. Alcatel -- like many vendors -- believed that generating more leads from ground zero could net bigger gains, Webster suggested.
No extra funding or resources would be earmarked for the team's use. Also, there were no plans to expand the program further down the track at this stage, he said.
"Watch this space and stay tuned. I guess it will depend on the success we have out in the marketplace," Webster said.