Mutual benefit brings TM and TeAM together
By Karamjit Singh November 12, 2012
- It’s tough trying to sell software via cloud services to SMEs
- Relationship combines the distribution reach of TM with TeAM’s subject matter expertise
IT was a year in planning before the announcement. From the go-ahead by the CEO of Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), to then getting the buy-in progressively down the organization.
But that’s how big companies function. And, there is no guarantee it will work as the target market is the elusive small and medium enterprise (SME), and the value proposition is software delivered over the cloud – a concept still alien to many business owners, especially if they are the original founders.
But the challenge of cracking the SME market has got TM to partner the Technopreneurs Association of Malaysia (TeAM). The former has the marketing heft and the distribution channels (TM Point and its resellers), while the latter has the subject matter expertise and a better understanding of how to address the pain-points of SMEs.
“It is about transferring our knowledge to TM on selling cloud solutions to SMEs so that TM can move beyond just selling boxes,” says Aziz Izmail, president of TeAM.
He was referring to the agreement TM and TeAM inked last week (pic) to bring cloud computing services to Malaysian SMEs via TM’s subsidiary VADS.
Under the agreement, TeAM members would be able to market and sell their cloud applications through TM’s BizApp Store, a self-service web portal that offers a wide range of business applications developed by international and local software companies.
Since late last year, TM has been trying to sell its Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to SMEs but has found the going tough. Or as Aziz puts it diplomatically, “they have discovered that SaaS is a different animal.”
But TeAM members, on the other hand, “understand this space and how to reach out to and educate SMEs successfully on the merits of SaaS,” he adds.
While Digital News Asia understands that TM will get a very healthy chunk from any sale that TeAM members make through this relationship, Aziz feels the relationship is a win-win one.
“Our members need a bigger distribution outlet and if this relationship is successful, our members will benefit too,” he says.
TeAM members will still carry on their existing direct marketing approach but it will be augmented by the promotional and marketing events that TM carries out on its own. At the same time there will also be a nationwide joint promotion by both parties and this is where TeAM members will pass on their experience and expertise to TM staff and resellers.
SMEs will also benefit as they will have options to choose from within the BizApp store and will get better pricing and more advanced software.