Distributor Westcon-Comstor has announced an extension of its relationship with British firm Speakerbus, which makes specialty voice solutions for mission-critical sub-segments in the financial, emergency and command sectors. The two companies signed an EMEA partnership in March. It is now being extended to North America.
Although Speakerbus has been in business in Britain for over 30 years, they are not at all well known to the channel in the U.S. and Canada. They are, however, well known in those niche markets where they play.
“They have a very specific vertical market focus,” said Barat Dickman, vice president and general manager of the Westcon-Comstor Unified Communications and Collaboration Solutions Practice. “They started in the ‘hoot ‘n’ holler’ trading desk business, a microsegment of the financial services vertical. From there, they expanded to mission-critical segments in the voice application market, including first responders and command and control.” The offering features strong multi-party voice collaboration capabilities and very high, reliable quality.
Dickman said that while the British company has sold in North America before, it has been largely direct selling.
“They are brand new to the channel in North America,” he said. “Their sales here in the past were largely a direct selling opportunity – and now they want to go through the channel.”
Westcon-Comstor’s UCC Solutions Practice is a growing one, and the critical voice application market is a key part of that.
“We have a large government and health care practice, and critical voice applications are a part of this,” Dickman said. “The specific verticals where Speakerbus plays, on the other hand, are totally new for us. We had not been in these segments before, so this is definitely the first foray for Westcon here. However, we did a lot of research on them when investigating whether to work with them, and they are a well known and respected brand in this space. We spent a lot of time putting this partnership together, and we think the opportunity in the channel community here is great.”
Obviously the opportunities are highly vertical-specific. Dickman pointed out though, that there is a particularly strong managed services play.
“They fit very well into partners’ managed services offering, because the way that it is built makes it attractive to embed in these,” he said. “Managed service partners are thus an attractive target, because this is something they can add in as an additional value.”
The focused nature of the Speakerbus offering means that the channel Westcon will develop for them will be highly focused as well.
“This will be a very targeted partner recruitment and onboarding effort,” Dickman said. “We are looking for partners who have expertise in this area and expertise selling voice collaboration offerings.”