Software pioneer aims to redefine distribution

NetXL is firing on all cylinders as it powers distribution innovation through a fusion of software centricity and operational excellence, claims founder and CEO .

A deep dive into Mansell’s highly impressive career track record will serve as an informative lens through which to examine his pioneering approach to reimagining hardware distribution for resellers and MSPs while bringing new technology brands to market. And Mansell’s many achievements to date go some way in substantiating his bold ambition to set the standard in distribution innovation.

To say that his 25-plus years experience in the software industry has been remarkably influential would be to greatly understate the nature of the impacts he has made along the way, having held executive roles at several multinational businesses and exited many organisations as principal shareholder.

He first entered the software industry with a passion for an early Mac product called QuarkXpress which transformed how publishers created their papers and magazines etc. He went on to drive the launch of the multimedia product QuarkImmedia and worked with Virgin Records using the software on the press launch CD-ROM for the Spice Girls launch in 1996. Mansell’s success in promoting QuarkImmedia led to him being headhunted by Macromedia (Adobe) where he worked across Europe to market Flash, Dreamweaver and many other products, culminating in his role as Product Manager for Dreamweaver.

After Macromedia, Mansell established the Technology Marketing team at $2 billion advertising and marketing conglomerate Vertis, building an email marketing platform for the XBox launch across Europe in 2001. Three years later he left Vertis to launch his first idea, MeshCards, a through-the-line marketing product seen by some as an early brand influencer model adopted by Warner Music, Ubiquiti, Atari and a number of other forward thinking brands at the time.

Mansell went on to launch his first domain name registrar at Mesh, quickly becoming the fastest growing in Europe before its acquisition by Host Europe Group (Go-Daddy) where he became an executive board member before its later sale, in a deal valued at $1.8 billion. Today, as well being NetXL founder and CEO Mansell is also a Non-Exec Board Director of PE-backed CPaaS provider TelcoSwitch and He founded in 2013 and exited to private equity in 2022.

The smallest and most efficient part of our operation is the 25,000-plus units we ship a month. We are entirely focused on the software stack that leads to that shipment

NetXL primarily caters for resellers, installers, MSPs, IT support businesses and systems integrators, enabling them to streamline their order processing workflow through what Mansell says is a transformational product procurement process. “NetXL is a software-driven business with a core focus on efficiently and swiftly delivering tangible products,” commented Mansell. “The fusion of technological expertise and operational efficiency is the cornerstone of our approach.”

NetXL works with fast-moving innovative network product vendors, utilising a proprietary cross channel retail, distribution and inventory software platform to serve its customers. The company is an evolution of the service, responding to growing customer demand for seamless integration with VoIP platforms. Initially, supplied essential hardware components like Grandstream phones and DrayTek, later broadening its vendor portfolio to include Ubiquiti, Yealink and TP-Link.

Distinct entity
“The logical step was taken to establish NetXL as a distinct entity,” commented Mansell, who (naturally) leveraged his software expertise to develop NetXL’s proprietary platform, which anticipates demand and dynamically assesses distribution channels. “NetXL’s technology is its secret sauce,” he added. “Developed internally from the ground up we have the ability to be agile with constant efficiency and flex in all we do.”

Mansell also noted that API integrations have become instrumental in streamlining processes and maximising efficiency. “Our JSON API enables integration for real-time stock information, order processing and tracking details,” he explained. “They can even place orders and receive a detailed product feed including descriptions, images and attributes.”

Investing in the development of NetXL’s technological infrastructure has also enabled it to automate and optimise its own internal operations, resulting in significant resource savings. “This enables us to redirect our focus towards delivering additional value to customers, including strategic planning, customer relationship management and innovation,” added Mansell. “By customising our fulfilment platform and building key functions such as stock take and finance reconciliation in-house we deliver a tailored experience.”

According to Mansell, many service providers face significant operational hurdles in managing hardware orders, spending unnecessary time and resources on dealing with multiple manual distribution partners for their customers. “From manually handling order processing and provisioning to having limited visibility into shipment progress, they often struggle to maintain the same standard of hardware fulfilment services as they do with their software offerings,” he added.

Mansell cited TelcoSwitch as an example of a business restricted by its hardware fulfilment process, until it moved its purchasing over to NetXL and made full use of the API, automating and streamlining what were laborious ordering processes from device shipment, configuration and provisioning, up to automation of the purchasing and finance process. “As MSPs continue to embrace digital transformation forward-thinking distributors with reliable APIs will play a vital role in driving innovation and success,” added Mansell.

Internet revolution
He believes the channel is fundamentally different to 25 years ago and that traditional channel firms would be wise to remodel their business strategies accordingly. “If a brand isn’t strategic with its Amazon presence then it might as well not list in Google’s rankings,” he stated. “If it believes a reseller or distributor entirely serves distinct sectors, it’s mistaken. The Internet was only just getting going 25 years ago, but it’s here now and here to stay.

“That fundamentally changes buyers’ access to information and their purchasing demeanors. We have positioned ourselves to take advantage of that change by creating a software business that ships. The smallest and most efficient part of our operation is the 25,000-plus units we ship a month. We are entirely focused on the software stack that leads to that shipment in building a brand’s presence, stature and value across all channels.”

According to Mansell, NetXL’s pioneering approach to shipping is a magnet for partners. “Prompt delivery is not just a convenience, it’s a necessity today,” he said. “By achieving a 7pm cut off for next day service weekdays and 3pm Sunday shipping for Monday delivery, we’re meeting the immediacy that partners demand.”

NetXL has also added white labelled customised solutions into its fulfilment and shipping cost, including custom branded delivery notes and white labelled, untraceable courier accounts. And with the entire team being technical NetXL provides value add services such as router pre-configuration and API integrations. “This combination of fulfilment solutions and technical expertise drives our growth prospects,” added Mansell.

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