Harbinger will be reducing the number of its reseller channels in the UK and Europe over the next year.
The electronic commerce and EDI solutions provider, which launched its direct UK operation yesterday, sees 80 per cent of its sales go through reseller channels. Over the next 12 months it aims to reduce that to 60 per cent, and focus on direct sales channels.
?After that we would expect to have a 50:50 situation,? said Steve Coussins, managing director of Harbinger UK. ?We want to have a good balance of direct and indirect sales channels. The increase of focus on direct sales channels is partly to have more control.?
The launch into the UK will help Harbinger increase its market share. Coussins believes that in the UK, it will gain around 10 per cent of the market within the next three years.
?The UK is still the largest adopter of EDI and accounts for 30 per cent of Europe-wide electonic commerce,? he said.
Plans for Europe include mass acquisitions in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. The firm is already well on the way to concluding a deal in France, and will be looking out for additional lucrative buys.
?Europe now accounts for 15 per cent of the total Harbinger business, and it expects Europe to grow to 30 per cent over the next five years,? Coussins said. ?We?ve done our own research and Europe-wide we expect the EDI market to grow by 20 per cent per annum up to the year 2000.?
Over the next year Coussins predicts that Harbinger will see growth predominantly in the applications market, but towards 2000 it will change its focus to Internet services. It is just launching its EDI software on Unix and NT platforms. By the end of 1998 the firm plans to double its staff to 40 to deal with the expected growth in electronic commerce, stimulated by telecomms deregulation in Europe.
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