Editor Ian Hunter talks to Adam Dunkley, Business Development Manager at Node4 about channel recruitment and what resellers should be looking for from a supplier partner.
Comms Business Magazine (CBM): What kind of questions should resellers be asking when looking to evaluate potential suppliers?
Adam Dunkley (AD): There are several key issues for resellers to consider; are they going to be a good fit for my business model? Do they have the technical expertise to understand and roll out the latest technologies? Are they going to make it easy for me to deliver the IT services and solutions my customers want? Will technical support be available when I need it?
These are the overriding questions for today’s resellers and channel partners when identifying providers. We know the channel will be vital to our future success, and our fundamental approach is designed to ensure that we are constantly delivering what our partners want.
I think this approach really sets us apart from other providers and is a big part of the reason why partners choose us.
CBM: So what does this approach entail?
AD: A huge strength of Node4 is the products we have to offer and this has only come about because of the investment the business has made over the years – and continues to make today.
The ability to provide the IT infrastructure capable of meeting customers’ needs now and in the future is essential. Our MD Andrew Gilbert has the uncanny ability to look ahead in time and really understand what businesses will need from their IT infrastructure in future and is prepared to invest now to stay ahead of the game technology-wise.
For example, Node4 was among the first in the UK to see the value of investing in Zerto – and today it is one of the market leading Disaster Recovery solutions.
This may sound obvious but resellers and partners really appreciate and benefit from having a single IT provider offering a range of fully supported solutions.
We have many a conversation with prospective partners who are tired of having to deal with different partners for every different service – so were looking for one specialist who could manage all the services under one roof.
This is what Node4 can do. Whether our partners need to check on updates, order new services or solutions, or just simply ask for advice, they all have a dedicated account manager as their one point of contact that will deal with any request.
Whatever our partners need to ask about our approach makes life simple for them – especially around multi-product solutions.
CBM: Yes but when it comes down to it can you really deliver the kind of support partners need?
AD: There are many IT companies with support teams. The big difference is that partners find it a huge relief knowing they have qualified people looking after their solution and if something does go wrong these techies can be reached directly by emailing or picking up the phone.
The big vendors undoubtedly have big support teams. The challenge is that when you phone for support you only get as far as the first line – whereas partners want to be able to discuss their issues with the experts.
Other vendors may have a global support structure – with their first line contacts based abroad. In these cases the person you are speaking to doesn’t even know who you are, let alone your needs – how can resellers hope to build a relationship with their suppliers like this?
Our technical experts are all here in the UK and available for partners to speak to them directly. Most of the Node4 tech team know our partners inside out and have their solution design blueprinted in their brains so we can always talk about your specific solution and your specific needs at all times.
Node4 is an ambitious, growing company. Since this interview it has expanded further by acquiring the open source technology services company Reconnix who specialise in application development and fully managed Cloud and dedicated hosting solutions. This move will strengthen Node4’s existing portfolio of Cloud solutions and allow it to further develop its Platform-as-a-Service offering so that customers can develop, run and manage web applications to meet their business need. Reconnix also comes with a team of over thirty technical experts and engineers.