The good, the bad and the excellent:

The good, the bad and the excellent:

’TIS the season of goodwill. With that in mind Reseller News gave distributors the opportunity to share the highs and lows of their year and hot picks for 2006.

Paul Plester, Express Data sales and marketing manager

Despite a slow start to the year Plester says things picked up and he’s delighted with not only the quantity but also the quality of sales.

Express Data’s top brands — Microsoft, Cisco and IBM — all showed good growth even though the market is mature.

Plester notes there has been further reseller rationalisation this year with Maclean Computing and Integral both acquiring smaller companies and believes this is a good thing for the industry.

“There has also been consolidation on the vendor front — look at Adobe and Macromedia — and I think Express Data is well placed to take advantage of this as it’s great at reacting to changes on the horizon,” he says.

He has also seen increasingly stringent certification requirements introduced by vendors and says this will undoubtedly continue in 2006.

“That’s an interesting one to watch because we could well see certified resellers versus those that haven’t gone that path. It may be that uncertified businesses will be driven into selling different product lines.”

And Plester’s hot pick for 2006?

“We are getting a lot of people inquiring about pandemic planning, especially from Wellington. If the worst does happen then hopefully the IT industry can provide solid business continuity.”

Mark Dasent, Renaissance Brands general manager.

Dasent says this has been an excellent year for his company, which is once again in growth mode.

He says Renaissance’s three key areas — mobility, notebooks and security — have all seen strong sales, with Asustek outperforming his expectations.

“Most of the notebook demand has come from consumers so we need to grow into other parts of the market,” he says.

Renaissance has taken on three new security lines this year, which have enabled resellers to add additional services.

On the downside Dascent says his company is still struggling to recruit quality staff and admits this has been a factor in holding back growth.

“Plus we are always under threat posed by vendor changes; just look at the Macromedia Adobe merger.

“On top of that Telecom is getting bigger and stronger and is beginning to deal directly with vendors.”

Dascent doesn’t foresee any drastic changes in focus for 2006 though he admits Renaissance doesn’t have any storage offerings.

“But then Datastor is doing that pretty well. We’ll be concentrating on further growing what we have and hopefully adding some new products.”

Richard Harri, Synnex country manager

The entry of Synnex into the market late this year is one of Harri’s highlights and not only because it secured him a top job.

“Synnex supports local companies and I get a big kick out of employing local people,” he says.

In particular Harri says 2005 is notable for strong LCD monitor sales, anything iPod and the increasingly competitive notebook market.

“There are now 12 major notebook brands and everyone is trying to break the $999 mark, but as the dollar continues to fall it will be harder and harder to maintain that.”

Harri expects to see growth in Media Centre PCs, wireless networking and ADSL.

“Telecom will fall short of its target broadband signings which will lead to government intervention and things will begin to take off.”

Chris Rycroft, Dove Electronics general manager

A consistently strong dollar creating excellent value for end-users has been one of the high points for Rycroft.

“It’s been a good year overall for the industry with solid demand throughout,” he says.

Rycroft also highlights excellent developments in screen technology with displays now at three milliseconds and price and capacity developments in the flash memory market.

On the downside Rycroft picks out the increase in foreign-owned distributors as well as the continued existence of parallel imports.

“It strains our ability to provide the service levels that much of the industry desires or expects.”

As for 2006, he hopes New Zealand will finally get competitive ADSL pricing.

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