The deal, potentially worth $2 million in revenue in the first year, makes VoIP Alcatel's second Australian distributor for the product.
Mike Harte, CEO for the VoIP distribution arm, VExpress, said he was aiming to sign 30 resellers in the first 12 months. “We will be aiming for approximately 30 T-system resellers nationally and will be moving into traditional corporate system and data resellers as well,” he said.
VExpress will target SMB end-users and retailers in a market Harte believes is ripe for migration to IP telephony. “We would expect to gain 15-20 per cent of the Australian market in a year,” he said.
Alcatel had been selling PABX systems to large corporates for “some time” but would now use VExpress to target the “lower end” with Omni PCX, a 20-module private communication exchange offering traditional PABX function with potential for migration to IP telephony.
Vaughan Webster, national channel manager for voice & data at Alcatel, said harnessing VExpress alongside LAN Systems would enable Alcatel to direct VoIP's established Alcatel partnership and expertise into the channel space.
VExpress' eight staff in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth and VoIP's 42 engineers will work together to serve customers. “VoIP really is an expert partner of Alcatel ... demonstrating commitment to the product and to the end-user and we wanted to add that same recipe to the channel for the bona fide reseller,” he said.
VoIP has previously offered OmniPCX Office but making the product available through VExpress will broaden its base of potential customers.
“Communications equipment can be quite complex.
Vendors want their name assisted by successful implementations. We have the technical expertise to make that [Alcatel] product work,” said Harte.
Webster said Alcatel's channel expansion would be supported by an “active marketing approach”, and supply of accessories from Alcatel's 30-odd application partners. Alcatel was committed to the third-party channel approach and may sign other distributors as opportunities expanded, he said.