Channel Choice Reduced says Nine Telecom

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Commenting on the announcement earlier this week that Daisy Group had acquired O-bit, James Palmer, CEO at Nine Telecom told Comms Business Magazine, “First things first, this does reduce resellers choice even further. We are now left with only a couple of Aggregator Distributors in the Networks sector, being the enlarged Daisy Group and the Nine Group and I guess you could possibly include Chess in that group too.

Other than that, you have the carriers and they themselves have not always had a clear Channel Strategy. From my perspective, you have BT Wholesale, C&W, Gamma, Talk-Talk Business and then more specialist providers such as KCOM and Verizon whose channel strategies and product portfolio’s are not so obvious.

So now the choice for resellers is probably down to about 5-6 key players. The Guys at O-bit always seemed to offer something that little bit different and whenever I spoke with them at industry events they always seemed very personable and appeared to have a good business model.

With regards to the acquisition by Daisy, an obvious upside for O-bit’s customers could be access to additional products from the Daisy Group. My concern is that will this be more than offset by a small entrepreneurial channel focused business having been swallowed up by the now enormous Daisy Group.

That’s the key for me, if Daisy allow O-bit to continue to do its own thing at almost arm’s length but with access to the product set I think it could work. If it’s a case of integration into a larger group and significant cost reduction, be that staff or otherwise, then maybe some of what attracted O-bit to its existing customers will be lost and another supplier will effectively have been taken out of the market. For the Channel’s sake, I hope O-bit continues to be run as autonomously as it was before.”