Helping to create a sustainable WLAN business

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Colubris Networks is a global provider of multiservice Wireless LAN (WLAN) systems for enterprises and service providers, delivering highly scalable, flexible solutions for wireless voice, data and video networking. IT Reseller talks to Patrick Deroy, the company's Sales Director for EMEA.

Q: What is your route to market? Describe your business model to explain how your products reach the end customer: that is do you deal solely with distributors, do you deal with distributors, resellers and systems integrators, do you deal with end users?

A: Colubris Networks addresses two major markets, the carrier and enterprise market.

The carrier market is addressed through our OEM partners like Alcatel and the enterprise market is addressed through a two tier model: distributors and resellers/system integrators.

In the UK, our Value Added Distributors are Acal Networks and Wireless CNP.

Q: Why do you think partners and customers choose to work with you?

A: Colubris is a proven market leader in the wireless market: with a 30% share of the worldwide hospitality market and 10% share of the hotspot market. Colubris products have been deployed, tested and approved by Fortune 1000 companies in varied vertical markets and has acquired a high level of brand and quality recognition through large Public Access deployments such as Swisscom Eurospot (with more than 2,500 sites and 30,000 access points) and other organisations such as Telecom Italia, and Broadreach, but to name a few.

Colubris is second to Cisco in the carrier market and competes head-to-head with Aruba and Trapeze in the enterprise market. Colubris differs from its competitors by a unique scalable architecture based on distributed network intelligence. We believe our architecture provides 5X the scalability and better performance at a third to half the cost of competing solutions.

Customers choose Colubris for the flexibility and the scalability of the solution, the support for multi-service applications (data, voice and multimedia in general), the high level of security and the high reliability of the products. As well as the differentiation of the architecture, partners will receive a high level of support from the Colubris technical team.

Q: How do you support your channel?

A: Colubris supports the channel at both the sales and technical level.
At the sales level, Colubris delivers a set of tools through its recently announced Colubris Partner Programme. Tools such as competitive information, boiler plates, application notes, vertical market information are available on Colubris partner websites.

Channels enrolled in the partner programme are trained and get the direct support from the Colubris sales force deployed in Europe.

At the technical level, Colubris also delivers a set of technical training through the partner programme. Colubris, from its UK office in London, also provides configuration support.

Colubris channels deliver level 1 and 2 support to their end user. Colubris provides the level 3 support through a post-sales organisation with a European presence.

We also offer sales support programmes such as our recently announced Proxim Rebate Programme.

Q: What benefits and incentives do you offer to your existing partners/new partners?

A: Our partner programme defines a set of benefits to our partners. The Colubris Partner Programme features three partnership levels Premier, Select and Reseller -- based on revenue commitments, geographic scope, vertical market focus and company size. Programme features include:
- Partner-focused sales model.
- Customised technical support services.
- Proactive-push Marketing and Sales Support Programme.
- Dedicated training onsite with complete curriculum.
- Technical Certification Programme for pre and post sales engineers.
- Lead Generation Programme to kick-start partnerships and create recurring revenue.
- Product Discounts and Pricing Incentive Programme to reward partners focused on selling Colubris equipment in volume.
- Co-Operative Marketing (Co-op) and Marketing Development Funds (MDF) to encourage training, lead generations and marketing activities.
- Government and Education Programme Discount.
- Partners Only Web Portal and Customer Support access.

Q: Do you want new partners now? What qualities/skills are you looking for in new partners?

A: Yes, we are currently looking to grow our partner base, particularly in Europe and are recruiting to specifically address various vertical market segments such as enterprise, education, healthcare, retail and hospitality. To meet the changing needs in our expanding customer base we designed the Colubris Partner Programme, with a main objective to help partners create a sustainable business within the fast-changing Wireless LAN (WLAN) market.

Recruitment sessions are taking place for all Colubris resellers and distributors who want to participate in the Colubris Partner Programme through seminars organised by our local distributors or by completing the Colubris Partner Programme Enrolment process. Colubris is also putting in place three incentive programmes to address Proxim resellers. This will provide existing Proxim customers rebates for hardware and software ranging from hundreds to thousands of Euros depending on the size of the network.

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