BridgeHead drops direct sales and launches European channel strategy

Storage management company BridgeHead Software today launched a two-tier channel strategy for its portfolio of data archive and backup products.

The new strategy is the result of a reorganisation of the companys sales process, replacing an approach that mixed ad hoc sales through one or two resellers with direct sales to end customers.

The foundation stone of the strategy will be a number of Reseller Accreditation Programmes. Each BridgeHead Reseller Accreditation Program will be unique and tailored to the distributor.

Accredited resellers will benefit from a flow of qualified leads, pre-sales support, technical backup, co-operative marketing and training.

The first such programme will be implemented through ARC Technology Distribution, a leading European Value Added Distributor and Bridgehead partner. ARC will accredit, on BridgeHeads behalf, between 10 and 20 elite resellers.

Peter Hubbard, channel manager at BridgeHead Software, said: The nature of the emerging information management market requires a consultative sales approach, and that has serious implications for the calibre of both the distributor and reseller that BridgeHead needs. ARC goes to what are, in our experience, somewhat unusual lengths to help resellers close deals, and this is exactly what we were looking for but had previously failed to find. It puts its money where its mouth is to bring in the business; its very proactive.

For example, ARC operates its own in-house telemarketing team and - providing orders are fulfilled through ARC qualifies, free of charge, contact lists of its own, or lists provided by resellers, or lists generated by co-funded marketing campaigns.

Reseller discounts will provide attractive margin for resellers, excluding professional services. BridgeHead currently turns 55% of its revenue in Europe and is targeting a doubling in European sales next year.

Owen Dukes, CEO of Arc Technology, said: As compliance and regulatory initiatives take hold, storage management represents one of the biggest market opportunities in IT. By administering BridgeHeads Reseller Accreditation Programme we expect to put ourselves, and the resellers, in a stronger position to take a piece of the inevitable action through sales of its excellent range of products.

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