The star is rising for The Mercury Group (TMG), which comprises integrator Mercury IT, reseller Laptop Land and Mercury Services Group.
In a unique arrangement with distributor CHA, Mercury's services group will take over the management of its service centres in Melbourne and Perth to create what CEO Derek Merdith believes to be the biggest, if not only, independent national service group in Australia. And the channel services message is not lost on him.
Mercury already has repair and service facilities in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide and is certified by Compaq, IBM, Toshiba, Apple and NEC.
As well as being a valuable selling point, the service centres are a profitable business unitfor Mercury, and Merdith described the arrangement with CHA as a joint venture. He stressed that the deal is a completely separate element of the Mercury operation, and just made perfect sense for it and the distributor.
But the specialist notebook reseller is taking huge strides towards achieving the stated objective of establishing a substantial national presence. "Get big or get out," is Merdith's current catch-cry.
The group's Adelaide expansion, which resulted from the acquisition of Lodin (ARN December 15, page 1), has already produced dividends, according to Merdith. "In only two months, it's turned around and is trading profitably." The well-established Adelaide reseller officially changed its name to Mercury IT last week, and as Merdith said before Christmas, he expects to establish a "Laptop Land within the next couple of months".
He said he intends to replicate the very successful Laptop Land model in Adelaide, which he believes will "turn the town upside-down". And the Wakefield Street location (on the corner of Frome Street) is ideally suited to the CBD and fringe metropolitan business markets. Merdith insisted that its aggressive marketing approach will mean that business buyers of notebooks will have to come to Laptop Land.
Another pleasing aspect for the group is that some former Lodin staff members have come back with new enthusiasm, Merdith noted. And just like the company namesake, he is spreading the message.