Toshiba adds layer to channel

Toshiba adds layer to channel

TOSHIBA New Zealand is shaking up its channel, with the appointment of a new direct reseller and the creation of a tier two category that buys through distributor Tech Pacific.

New Zealand country manager Steve Ford says the new reseller is Able Business Machines, a 17-year-old business that has offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Ford also told Reseller News that Toshiba will complete a strategic review of its distributor arrangements by September, following Tech Pacific’s appointment as exclusive distributor some 18 months ago.

The changes come as Toshiba marked a bumper year at a channel event in Queenstown. In March, Toshiba reported annual New Zealand revenue of $62 million, up $10 million on 2003. Ford credited a new retail programme with Harvey Norman as a factor, saying retail sales accounted for 12% of business.

Education sector sales to both the public and private sectors were also strong, with several thousand state schoolteachers now equipped with Toshiba laptops.

Toshiba has eight direct resellers and systems integrators that deal directly with it, including the Laptop Company, Portables Plus, Gen-i, Axon, Fujitsu and ATL Systems, which often serve their own resellers. The notebook vendor also classifies some partners by the markets they serve, such as its MobileEd and MobilePlus partners.

Ford says the new tier two channel will have 15 to 20 authorised partners, which will be appointed within the next year.

They will benefit from an official company plaque, a Toshiba accounts manager, and greater access to Toshiba resources like product training and information.

Toshiba expects such resellers to have sound understanding of mobile solutions and technology, an ability to add value to sales, and have a strong Toshiba focus already.

Ford also plans for Toshiba to recruit resellers in provincial areas where the company’s coverage “could be better” and in certain vertical markets not currently served.

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