Australian PC and laptop manufacturer Venom Computers has launched an authorised reseller program, as the local vendor ramps up its efforts to get its devices into the hands of end-users.
As one of very few locally owned PC brands, the company is faced with a hefty challenge: to take on the likes of major international PC makers Apple, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Microsoft and Samsung, brands which are sold out of retail juggernauts like JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman. This, in addition to the sliding global PC market, as the trend towards greater mobility steadily grows.
Based in Melbourne and shipping internationally, Venom produces the BlackBook range of laptops and the BlackBox range of desktops, as well as accessories such as the BlackStrike mechanical keyboard.
In light of the challenges facing smaller PC makers in a slowing market, the company’s chief executive, Jaan Turon, is quick to refute claims the PC is dead.
“This constant chatter of [PCs] being dead is because of a race to the bottom,” he said. “Multinational corporations have to report quarterly sales growth, they need to report every quarter market share growth. [They ask] ‘How can we sell more units at a lower price?’
"This is just a corner cutting strategy, everything is compromised. The truth is tablets are just new netbooks and two-in-ones are the evolution of the laptop.”
“The new MacBook Pro has ports removed from it. Every time you take a port out you lose all those cables and legacy devices that are still functional. The purpose is for what reason really? Do consumers who are also corporates need any of this?
“Venom as a private company is not dictated by reasons such as this. We make the right platform for the value added reseller or provider of a service to have their products delivered on. The purpose of our design is simply to make a great PC.”
Venom’s reseller program has been designed to provide an end-to-end business strategy, from ordering, to delivery, tech support and aftersales expectations by engaging the end user.
Venom's partner portal will provide a direct link for resellers to action orders and set up prospective deals. Some of the benefits of joining the program are free Australia-wide shipping, partner enabled marketing, end-user support and services, and no rebates or incentives for volume driven selling, with a focus on partner service enablement and end-user requirements, not on forced quarterly sales.
As the brand works to expand its footprint, Turon said his company faces the same challenges all resellers face: to remain relevant.
“Both resellers and vendors can no longer push for short-term gains, the total cost of ownership, the total lifecycle of products and services need to be taken into consideration,” he said.
“The share price of the vendor that quarter doesn’t impact the end-user's daily business, we are now entering a phase where upgrade and replacement cycles are going from two-to-three years to four-to-five years and possibly in the near future to eight years. What does this mean for everyone in the supply chain?
“Personally we believe our size and new channel business model with resellers will allow for us to get the critical mass we need to continue with our unique designs, I mean how many computers does one person need? Just one good one."
Turon said Venom’s expansion in Australia would continue, and he is optimistic about laying the groundwork for new partnerships with the local channel.
“When we first started out and I suggested we should make our own computers, everyone said, ‘You’re too small, all the others are huge’, I said nature’s way of competing with larger and faster animals is with venom, and all snakes in Victoria are venomous,” he said.
“I think it’s a just a matter of time before Australian resellers realise they need to partner with a local vendor who has their interests at heart because our goals are all aligned and we are in the same boat."