As the PC industry continues to struggle with the move to direct selling, Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson is travelling in the opposite direction by creating a channel for its enterprise-level business.
Ericsson wants to build a channel model that will help drive its enterprise business in smaller markets, without sacrificing its large corporate market, says enterprise business head Lars Svensson.
"We don't want to try to re-train our existing staff to target a lesser market when they're doing such a job in the large company market. Instead we will offer up these markets to resellers and channel partners," says Svensson.
"We've done it successfully in our other business units; enterprise systems is really the last area we have to do this in.
"We have spun off the enterprise business unit worldwide into its own wholly-owned company and are looking for a partner to join us in the business. The partner will take a majority equity stake in the company," says Svensson.
After talks with 24 companies, the short list now has only one name on it and Ericsson hopes to announce its partner in the next two weeks.
Ericsson has taken a first step toward this model in New Zealand, selling its enterprise business to a reseller, Ericsson Enterprise Systems, which will work with partner Zintel, a company owned by Eric Watson's Cullen Investments.