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EnGenius Idea: New Partner Tiers, Demand-Gen Resources

Long-range wireless networking vendor also is looking to expand its loyal base of SMB-focused partners, with its eye on 2,000 new VARs.

Long-range wireless networking specialist EnGenius Technologies is forging ahead behind a revamped channel program heavy on demand generation and better rewards for partners.

The EnPower Reseller Program, which debuted in January 2010, groups solution providers into Authorized and Elite EnGenius partners. Elite-level partners have volume commitments, but also receive deeper discounts, access to partner resources such as MDF, and broader maintenance services opportunities.

Among various benefits recently added to the program, qualified partners also get free product demos and a range of training and demand-generation resources. Authorized-level partners can now receive MDF as well.

"We're coming at this from a number of different angles," said Vicki Bilyeu, EnGenius' channel marketing manager. "We want to get the awareness up certainly, but also touch our reseller partners continuously."

EnGenius plays in the viciously competitive wireless space but focuses primarily on products that serve large-area wireless needs for SMB customers, from cordless phone systems to access points. Launched in 1999, the company is a subsidiary of of Senao Networks, a large RF communications company based in Taiwan that established EnGenius in Costa Mesa, Calif., as a facility for putting its high-powered radios into wireless networking products.

EnGenius touts its outdoor access points as broadcasting as far as 2.5 miles before the signal begins to degrade. Recent additions to the portfolio include two business-class indoor long-range access points, the EAP300 and EAP150, which can be configured as 802.11b/g/n access points, wireless distribution system bridges or wireless distribution system access points. Each has an internal 5dBi antenna; delivers data speeds as high as 300 Mbps, with outputs as high as 800 mW and 400 mW, respectively; and supports Power-over-Ethernet. The EAP300 lists at $99 and the EAP150 at $79.

EnGenius' product lineup is about 70 percent indoor and outdoor business-class wireless products and another 30 percent consumer-class products, according to Gabriel Maxwell, director of channel sales.

The company has about 4,000 partners in North America, with about 60 Elite partners as of October 2011. EnGenius is seeking another 2,000 partners as part of its ongoing partner recruitment, executives said.

"We focus on the small to medium value-added reseller," Maxwell said. "We have at least as good as solution, if not better, for less money than what's out there. You have your larger-stocking resellers and DMRs that are looking for shelf space. Our product fits best with the SMB reseller who has that relationship with that school, or that office, or that small business."

Hiscall, a Dickson, Tenn.-based solution provider, signed on with EnGenius several years ago after a nursing home customer requested the product, recalled Jeffrey Little, purchasing manager.

Hiscall's EnGenius sales are primarily around the cordless phone systems but steadily more with the wireless networking products, too, and the solution provider is now not only an Elite partner but also one of EnGenius’ top 10 national partners.

"We had never really looked at [the cordless phone system] because we didn't really know it was there," Little said. "But it's very hard to find anything to beat it. It's a lot of flexibility compared to what you'd get in some $40 phone you buy at Wal-Mart. The range is pretty incredible."

Little said Hiscall's Elite status has been particularly useful for lead generation, with Hiscall's logo and contact included in EnGenius' marketing materials and EnGenius representatives passing on qualified customer leads. EnGenius' systems have complemented Hiscall's other specialties, which include telephony, Pro A/V, access control, security systems, data networking and videoconferencing, he said.

"The big dogs aren't all there is to tech anymore," Little said, referencing EnGenius' comparative lack of name recognition next to the Ciscos and Avayas of the world. "There are a lot of other options and a lot of good smaller companies that have learned their lesson about partners. EnGenius has a lot of value."

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