Belkin, a leading manufacturer of peripherals and connectivity solutions for computer and consumer electronics users, has launched its Belkin Alliance Partner Program (APP). The programme is designed to equip resellers, retailers and value added resellers with the tools they need to offer business and consumers the best connectivity solutions, grow their business and profit margins. Robin Falconer (pictured right), sales and marketing director, takes part in an IT Reseller Q&A.
Q: Robin thanks for agreeing to take part in this Q&A. I think many people will be familiar with the Belkin brand and may be interested in your route to market; could you tells us how you get your products in front of the customer?
A: Belkin does not sell to end users directly, we route to market via our main distributors and then via resellers.
Q: How do you view the current state of the UK market for your technology?
A: The market at present is very buoyant as more and more consumers upgrade their equipment.
Key growth areas are anything wireless and the whole convergence arena.
We are a connectivity company and in the last two years we have seen a massive swing from wired to wireless solutions across the board as ease of set up, security and performance have all been addressed to the end users satisfaction.
Taking wireless networking--Belkin MIMO--multiple input, multiple output, not only increases coverage, handles more data but removes all the old dead spots associated with previous wireless technology and it works with all the current B and G infrastructure in the market now.
On the digital side of things we have now seen the arrival of the true digital connectors in main componentsDVI and HDMIlink this to the imminent launch of SKY HDTV and you have another huge market opening up with rich attachment potential. Remember UP-SELL AND ATTACH to maximise profit on all hardware/accessory sales.
Anything MP3 is big news at present, the continuing success of Ipod drives huge add on sales and Belkin are well placed here as we are part of the Made for ipod scheme and offer everything from the humble leather case for all the current ranges including Nano thru to the latest Bluetooth products such as Belkins Tunestage which connects your ipod to your Hi-Fi system without wires so you can play your entire collection back via a decent amp and speakers, controlling it all from your ipod wirelessly! Look out also for an announcement from Belkin in January detailing what will be Europes number one selling portable music accessory!
Another huge area is in the surge protection category. Especially at this time of year people see more and more lightning strikes, power surges and brown outs. It always makes us laugh when we hear people saying the power supply in the UK is stablethey should see our claims department after a bad storm! Why do we have a claims dept? Well on all our surge products we offer varying levels of Connected Equipment warranty so if your Plasma is connected to the mains correctly via one of our surges and the Plasma is damaged due to our Surge failing then we will repair or replace your plasmaits that simple. Why do our surges fail now and again? Well they protect your products on-going and may well save your products from a lethal surge more than once and if you are really unlucky they may well have to protect so much that they just cannot take any more punishment.
Q: Do you need to expand your current channels? If so, what kinds of partners are you looking for?
A: Currently we have a very good route to market via our current distributor and re-seller partners. I see no reason why they cannot service the expanding convergence or digital shift market as it rapidly develops over the next few years.
Q: How will you support them?
A: As we always do with first class products, first to market technology and huge profit potential via up sell and attach. We have also just launched our Alliance Partner program, which is an online portal to help re-sellers maximise their profits from Belkin sales. This is NOT just another badge and sticker club but a fully working portal that offers training, direct support, product offers via our distributors and rebates on all Belkin purchases.