Melbourne-based modem maker Swann Communications has taken its next step into distribution by being appointed as a distributor of 3Com's Palm Computing connected organisers.
The company, which has hitherto been better known as Modem Wholesale, has been building up a base of reseller customers for its own range of Swann modems and communication products. It has taken the step into Palm distribution after operating as a sub-distributor to Tech Pacific for the last 18 months.
Swann managing director David Swann said: "We pride ourselves in adding value for our customers. We supply a full range of accessories including third-party products as well as the range of Palm Computing connected organisers."
Already on Swann's books are retailers including Harvey Norman, Clive Peeters, Tandy, Dick Smith, Myer and WC Penfolds. But according to Swann sales manager Rob Mesaros, the PC-based Palm Products are well suited to smaller specialist resellers who can provide the right sort of support.
"Resellers who are interested in the palm computing market should contact us, and if it is suitable, we will make a time to come and see them with the people from 3Com," Mesaros said.
While Swann enthusiastically offers support for its reseller base, it will have to ramp up very quickly if it is to keep up with the predicted channel demand.
Among the major retailers listed on the Palm Computing Web site are some specialist office equipment suppliers such as Sydney's John Maggs Computer and Office Machines. According to Rice Bull, handheld computing specialist at John Maggs, "The market is awesome, but the distribution and sales support needs for the Palm PC market are different from other office equipment." Bull said that competing with the big retailers didn't phase John Maggs, claiming "we specialise in customer service rather than volume".
Mesaros said the volume of Palm V and Palm IIIx connected organisers moved by Swann is expected to be in excess of 800 units per month, with huge growth in demand anticipated. He said that Swann was involved in some in-store promotions as well as staff training and bundling of third-party accessories. "We're not that big that we see this as just another patch in the quilt, we're committed to this market," he added.
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