Former Northamber veteran launches scathing attack on traditional tech distribution

‘Disties have their head stuck up their arse’

Industry veteran Henry Matthews (pictured) has criticised the traditional PC and tech distribution model after coming out of retirement.

The former Northamber director, who worked at the firm for some 30 years, returned to the channel last week after investing in and being appointed chairman at Cloud Telephones.

The firm describes itself as a virtual distributor and helps resellers sell hosted VoIP (making phone calls over the internet), connectivity solutions and cloud services to businesses.

When asked if other distributors in the channel could move into hosted VoIP themselves, Matthews told PCR: "Well firstly they’ve got to get the product, then the infrastructure, which is nigh-on impossible to get anyway. Distributors are in a different world – they’ve got their head up their arse looking after PCs.

"(We’ve managed to do it because) we have the intelligence. We’ve also been in the business for a long time.

"Basically, you look at a distributor, they’re over there selling print and software or whatever. They don’t have a clue about what we’re selling over here. If you imagine photocopiers, distribution has been trying to sell photocopiers for years, and they just don’t have a clue, because it’s a leasing product.

"A big ship takes several miles to turn."

John Carter, MD of Cloud Telephones, aded: "One distributor has had hosted VOIP for six months and no one even knows about it. A product like this has never gone through there."

Paul Gibson, sales director at Cloud Telephones, commented: "We’re a virtual distributor because we do the billing, we can build the customer with the dealer’s logo, white label it, we can put the dealer’s name on the billing portal, the invoice, the software. We provide a solution in a box for the channel – we don’t deal with end users.

"Companies like us, new-wave companies, are forcing BT to jump on the [hosted VoIP] bandwagon."

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