With Morpho biometric readers holding two-thirds or more of the South African market, the French company decided earlier this year to expand its distribution base from one primary distributor to four. Morpho hardware is now available from Ideco Biometric Security Solutions, Powell Tronics, Impro and EOH (formerly Stanley).
Mike Austen, the Morpho product manager at Powell Tronics says the company was excited to obtain its status as an official Morpho distributor in May this year. “We have a long history of distributing high-end security products, including Impro access control solutions and Golmar IP and analogue intercoms. The addition of Morpho to our product list reinforces our reputation for supplying quality products.”
Austen notes that it is not simply about shipping the product, but about the service and added value Powell Tronics delivers. “Some people thought we would end up in a price war as soon as the new distributors were announced, but we understand that successful distribution depends as much on the value you provide to your channel as on the quality of your products.
He adds that more resellers, installers and integrators will now have access to the Morpho range, expanding its reach further into the South African and African market. Austen sees potential in Africa, with Powell Tronics already seeing between10% and 15% of its sales coming from north of the border.
In gearing up to offer the full Morpho range to its customers, Powell Tronics has expanded its Johannesburg office to cater for a new workshop and new technical resources. All Morpho kit sold will be put through a pre-delivery check to ensure clients receive a product that performs to expectation. In addition, the workshop will also be used to examine any products sent in for repair. For products still under warranty, however, the company’s agreement with Morpho will ensure that products are swapped out, not repaired.
The preparations for taking on the brand even went as far as changing the company’s accounting package to enable it to track serial numbers nationally. Should a customer need to take a Morpho product in for repairs, it can be taken to any branch and they will have a record of it.
In terms of integration, the company’s software development team in Cape Town has designed a solution that will integrate Morpho readers via their interface directly into Microsoft’s Active Directory (MAD). This project is an extension to its existing integration exercise in which it has integrated Impro’s Impronet access control system with MAD, and it will also be linking Golmar’s IP intercom. This integration allows customers to maintain only one master database of user information for their entire organisation. This will ensure that as soon as a new employee is captured, he will automatically be assigned logical and physical access permissions. When the employee leaves, his details will be updated in one location and all his access privileges will be terminated, overcoming the age-old problem of allowing people who have left the company to retain their access long after it should have been revoked.
Adds Austen, “We understand that our customers are interested in solutions, not simply buying boxes of equipment and we have set ourselves up to cater for this market. At the end of the day it is all about quality products backed by service that adds real value.”
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