Exertis Micro-P has recruited another 50 resellers to its Conect airtime programme, bringing the total number of Conect partners to nearly 250.
The 50 new recruits joined the programme after attending Exertis Micro-P’s latest quarterly Conect partner day, held in Reading. The event saw both existing Conect partners and prospective new partners in attendance, following a concerted marketing drive targeting IT and Comms resellers.
Simon Slater, Conect general manager, said: ‘It was a great success, with 80% [of prospective new partners] applying for Conect accounts with us. We had 10 applications at the event and then another 40 applications shortly afterwards.’
Exertis Micro-P launched Conect in April last year, offering partners airtime connections via EE and Vodafone, adding O2 earlier this year. The service is largely aimed at helping its 9,000-strong base of mainly IT resellers break into mobile and unified comms services, but is also open to the distributor’s 600 mobile dealers.
Slater (pictured) said the rapid increase in partner numbers this year shows that the programme has finally arrived. ‘It required some significant investment in real time and effort over the past 18 months but we are now reaping the benefits,’ he said, adding: ‘It has taken a bit longer than expected and we didn’t expect an instant quick win, but with perseverance and by continuing to push the message out into the IT and comms space we are now seeing clear results.’
Slater pointed to the programme’s connection rates as evidence. He said: ‘We are showing signs of significant growth on last year. We are delivering a 150% increase in our connection figures, based on a rough monthly average, compared to last year, and that is set to rise through the year on current rates.’
Slater said Conect is open to mobile resellers but the programme’s main focus is on IT and fixed line dealers. ‘Our target is not to go out into the mobile market and take all the mobile distributors’ customers. That wouldn’t benefit us or the networks. What we want to do is to create new partnerships, new connections and new revenue streams,’ he said.
Exertis Micro-P’s track record as an IT distributor gives it additional advantage over mobile distributors looking to tap into the IT and comms reseller market, Slater said.
‘Where we score over traditional mobile distributors is in the breadth of customers we have as a company. Within the IT and comms sector we have an established base of over 9,000 reseller partners, significantly exceeding that of our competitors in the mobile space. Nor do they have the numbers of customers buying mobile hardware.’
Conect partners range from small two to three-man dealerships to large IT resellers with hundreds of sales staff. Slater said the Conect team is currently targeting some of the larger partners in its customer base. He said: ‘We have had a really good success rate with some big corporate IT resellers and mass resellers with huge sales – they need that dedicated support and we can say to them ‘add this into your products and services to give you the ability to deliver the whole package.’
Alongside airtime Conect also offers VOIP, Office 365 and hardware leasing solutions and is also preparing to launch a number of other initiatives including managed print and video conferencing as it pushes further into the unified comms market. One successful campaign currently being offered by Exertis Micro-P gives partners O2 connectivity on Conect bundled with Office 365.
Slater said the rise of cloud services and data enabled tablets was helping drive up partner numbers. ‘A lot of our IT customers are providing Office 365 and they come to us asking for tablets and handsets. We can offer them a tariff to wrap the whole thing up and deliver the whole solution,’ he explained.
Conect continues recruitment drive
Exertis Micro-P’s drive into the airtime space has been helped by a major recruitment drive which has so far seen Fridolin Engel, former O2 national sales manager, recruited in February as head of sales for Conect, followed by five new BDMs, bringing the total number of dedicated staff to 22.
The company is currently on the hunt for two new partner account managers, who will bring on new partners and help them immerse themselves in the world of mobile.
Office 365 and O2
A new partner incentive is being launched by Exertis Micro-P around Office 365 / O2 connections. Conect partners will be to win a range of consumer electronics equipment for delivering against volume targets set around O2 and Office 365 connections – full details are available from the Conect team.