A new Panasonic configuration centre which was opened in Sydney this week can’t be accessed by local resellers until compliance approval is given by the vendor's Japanese factory.
The centre offers customers the option to have a basic Toughbook model configured to suit their individual needs.
Australian business development manager John Penn says the vendor's Toughbook factory in Japan controls the SKUs that are shipped to all countries.
“This is to ensure compliance [with] that country’s regulations, and so that they know which model is sold into which country for support purposes. Although the Australian and New Zealand compliance criteria [are] very similar, the factory has advised that at this stage they wish to settle the Australian configuration centre down first before widening its scope.”
He says local resellers can still purchase configured units in New Zealand. “I can report that [access to the centre is] an active topic of discussion at the moment and we hope to announce shortly that New Zealand resellers will have access to the configuration centre.”
Penn says Panasonic wants to add more local resellers to target markets outside those it traditionally focuses on, such as the military space.
“We’re... putting out the Panasonic SFH1 which is a medical tablet. That is a good example of where we’re seeing the market expanding into specific form factors.
"The health industry needs strong partners that offer an end to end solution. That also means partners are adding more value than just a box drop. They have to be a bit more specialised to attract the margins that go with it.”