Access Reorg Creates Units for Mature and Emerging TechnologiesBy John Hazard | Posted 2006-08-16 Email Print
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Access Distribution reorganized itself into units for Mature and Emerging Technologies to take solutions in those categories to market differently. Resellers say it will help vendors before VARs.
GE's Access Distribution announced Aug. 14 it had reorganized into separate business units for Mature and Emerging Technologies to take solutions in those categories to market according to their different needs.
The Emerging Technologies group will help vendors new to indirect distribution or established vendors with a technology new to the market route, to "turn on a channel," said Scott Zahl, vice president of the Emerging Technologies group.
The Mature Technologies Group will enable established vendors to enter new markets or find new entry points, said Mike Hurst, vice president of the Mature Technologies group.
The measure positions the Westminster, Colo.-based distributor, as a channel consultant to vendors and VARs and falls in line with Access's larger strategy to be No. 1 in every technology and vendor it carries, said Anna McDermott, Access Distribution's president and CEO.
"Our approach is we have no hobbies," she said. "We do what we can be best in the world at and what better place than where there is no clear leader Currently these are technologies served only by small and local distributors. It's wide open."
The reorganization aligns the distributor's staff, processes and resources to better market technologies viewed as either established or new opportunities, executives from Access, vendors and partners said at the distributor's annual New Frontiers solution provider conference in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Examples of emerging technologies included VOIP (voice over IP), Biometrics and Identity Management, physical security, power consumption strategies and training users to be as secure as their technology, McDermott said.
In preparation Access has picked up new vendors and larger portions of business from Vendors such as Avaya (VOIP) and Bluesocket (wireless networks).
In her keynote to partners, McDermott described the initiative as a means to get out ahead of the market on new opportunities and referred to Blue Ocean Strategies, whereby businesses capture uncontested market space, thereby making competition irrelevant.
According to the book "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant" by Professor W. Chan Kim and Professor Renée Mauborgne, Blue Oceans are uncontested markets, and Red Oceans the saturated markets where fierce competition leaves the water "red with blood."
"The IT industry is one giant sea of red," McDermott said. "But it is so big, we see opportunity for blue ocean strategies within it Just think about what wasn't known 100 years ago. Now think about all that doesn't exist yet, but will in the next century. Those are the things that have always been the drivers of business."
Resellers saluted the measure, but most said it would benefit vendors before VARs.
"The only benefit I can see us getting is that, they will be looking at new technologies and bringing them to us," said John H. Murphy, executive vice president of Advanced Systems Group, Thornton, Colo., an Access reseller.
"That's something I already do on my own and something I'm going to continue to do, but it would be of some help to have a larger organization looking for the next technologies."
As part of the reorganization, Access will actively search for new opportunity technologies among current and potential vendors and will take them to market differently, said Scott Zahl, vice president of the Emerging Technologies group.
"Emerging technologies do not necessarily mean early adoption technologies," Zahl said.
"It's anything where we see an untapped market and something new to the channel. It could come from a well-established company that develops a new solution or a startup that is ready to take a solution to channel."
The organizations do not initially receive equal funding or resources, McDermott said, as they have different requirements, but both are given equal weight in Access's hierarchy.
"One is established and mature and has huge efficiencies, but does a huge volume. The other is smaller, but doesn't have the same efficiencies to rely on."