Known traditionally as a distributor of PC card devices, Advanced Portable Technologies is expanding its business into the full remote access market with a number of new product lines.
In December last year APT became a distributor for Digi International, and more recently signed a deal to distribute the complete range of networking products from Olicom.
APT managing director Peter Maurer said the move provides total communications solutions from the remote user to the host, and is the result of a natural evolution. "A number of times there was work we were doing that was part of an overall remote access type of solution," said Maurer. "So we figured people were probably starting to look at end-to-end solutions as opposed to just looking at the client side." Hence, he says it made sense to expand the business to take advantage of the complete business opportunity.
Maurer said APT will primarily focus on the remote access products from Digi, but will take on the entire Olicom range, which includes a number of PC card products. "Olicom has been talking to us for some time about doing the PC cards, so it sort of made sense for us to actually do the desktop stuff as well," he said.
Olicom area sales manager for Australia Thomas Jorgensen said his company had been looking for a second distributor in Australia for some time. "Our strategy has always been to have two distributors in the countries we are dealing in - that gives us better control over the pricing. But secondly, we needed somebody that could really do something for us in the portable area with our PC cards. And these guys are one of the best in Australia to actually promote and distribute PC card technology.
"And because of their very broad exposure to the Australian market, we thought it might be a good idea to go with the whole range, but then still focus on the (PC card) GoCards." Indeed, Olicom recently expanded its range of GoCards to include two new combo cards, both featuring a 33.6Kbit/sec modem combined with either a token ring or Ethernet port.
APT joins Force Technology as a distributor of Olicom products, but Jorgensen does not expect there to be excessive competition. "The appointment of APT is primarily to find new business opportunities, and not necessarily fool around with the same ones and start a price war."
Jorgensen added that in some ways APT has already been dealing with his company's products, as the Portable Add-ons range it carries are OEMed from Olicom.
Maurer said he is now looking at other product categories to add to the APT range, including high-end modems, videoconferencing products and Internet phone packages. He stresses that this will not be at the expense of the APT traditional base. "Our plan is probably to have 30 per cent of our business in the next 12 months come from non-notebook related products, but we're not moving away from notebooks."