Reseller News

Altech drives into retail with Hitachi

Distributor Altech is making strides into the retail market by adding Hitachi Simpletough and Simpledrive external hard drives to its portfolio.

Marketing manager Kevin Hartin says the addition of the external drives was a “natural evolution” of its relationship with the vendor, as it has offered Hitachi’s internal hard drives since April last year.

“The independent resellers are often much quicker to embrace new products such as Hitachi, so it makes sense for them to build on the success they’ve had in the OEM [original equipment manufacturer] space and turn some retail business.”

He adds Altech is poised to go into the mass merchant retail space with the external hard drives.

“Hitachi’s product and our company are on a similar growth path. It’s important for us to broaden our product offering with their move into retail products.”

Altech’s strategy for the external hard drives is to distribute them through larger resellers, including PB Technologies and mass merchants such as JB HiFi.

The external hard drives were previously only available through Wellington distributor Duo. The company’s sales director, Jackie Hatchwell, believes Altech’s appointment won’t result in conflict as the distributor works in the corporate market, while Altech services the original equipment manufacturer and retail space.

“We’ve been in discussions with Hitachi for some time so it’s status quo for us. It’s a good idea in the sense of the branding and gets the [Hitachi] name out beyond the corporate space.”

Hitachi GST Asia Pacific managing director James Ho says the vendor wanted two distributors to maximise potential growth in the ANZ storage industry.

“We constantly evaluate and identify opportunities to improve our foothold and operations in the region, and to strengthen our local channel partners in the market. Our plan is to enter new markets where we can create more value, build market differentiation and hold a competitive advantage, all while serving our customers with best-in-class products, services and support.”

Ho adds that it plans to offer partners a “more comprehensive product line” that includes traditional hard drives, as well as external storage products.

Altech announced the addition of Hitachi’s external drives at a recent channel event in Auckland where it also highlighted memory products vendor Corsair. Hartin says the brand is well known in Australia, but not locally.

“It’s not a brand that has kicked on in New Zealand maybe through lack of effective distribution. It’s something that’s really important to us at Altech, that we get out there and promote. Resellers should be looking at it as an opportunity. They are also a market leader in flash products and power supplies,” says Hartin.

Other vendors at the channel event included AOC, which showcased a number of widescreen monitors, while Silverstone showed its Raven gaming cases and motherboards. Creative demonstrated the Rave pocket video camera and Aspire and Gigawatt speakers.

Hartin says the company will be more proactive with events this year. “We’re very grateful to resellers because without them and the support of the vendors, we would be having a tough time in the market.”

Meanwhile, Altech will also add Asus components to its product range in New Zealand and Australia, alongside the Asus wireless and PC products it currently offers. The components include VGA cards, optical drives and LCD monitors, says local branch manager Ken Liu.