Samsung takes note of ITW progress

Samsung takes note of ITW progress

IT Wholesale has become the latest company to get the nod as Samsung continues to beef up its notebook distribution.

Samsung's national IT sales manager, Joe Serra, said ITW parent company, Cellnet, had been distributing the vendor's mobile phones for more than three years. ITW was later appointed to sell Samsung printers and monitors.

"ITW brings a very good mix of client to the table," he said. "It is very good in the SMB space, deals with a very good cross-section of vendors and resellers, and has a very loyal following in Queensland and other states."

ITW general manager, Darryl Tucker, said the companies had been in discussions for about a month because the Samsung notebooks were well suited to the corporate SMB market. Samsung notebooks would also be made available to resellers of its parent and sister companies, Cellnet and Cassa.

Having also added Toshiba to its notebook stable in recent weeks, Tucker said ITW would now look to other areas of potential growth. "We want to get more into software and are talking to Red Hat," he said. "We would also be interested in adding some peripherals like power supplies and backup units."

IDC analyst, Mike Sager, recently suggested Samsung would find it difficult to achieve growth in the local notebook market this year because it would be less buoyant and more competitive than in 2003 and 2004.

While admitting it would not be an easy ride, Serra said he was confident Samsung could establish itself.

"The argument that it will be difficult to achieve growth could be applied to any of our portfolios with the exception of monitors," he said. "Is there room for Samsung in the notebook market? I believe there definitely is.

"Our expectations are not huge - we are not going after the top three brands in the market. It's going to get more crowded as desktops continue to be replaced by notebooks and all vendors are facing a challenge."

Serra also dismissed suggestions that ITW would be a difficult partner to establish notebook mindshare with given that it already carries Apple, Toshiba and Lenovo.

"From a notebook perspective in isolation that's a fair comment but we can leverage our existing relationship with ITW on other product ranges," he said.

"Toshiba might have a tougher job getting mindshare with ITW resellers because it only has notebooks."

Samsung will launch its Warrior loyalty program for notebook resellers on July 1. Initially slated for January, it will offer marketing incentives and rebates to dealers that hit agreed monthly targets.

Having launched its notebooks onto the Australian market in November - in conjunction with distributors, Ingram Micro and Westan - Samsung added Altech Computer and HiTech Distribution during the past three months.

Serra said ITW and HiTech carried Samsung monitors, printers and notebooks.

Ingram Micro, Westan and Altech also distribute its range of optical disk drives and hard drives.

While there were no current plans to add to this line-up, Serra didn't rule it out.

"There is always a possibility of more - it depends on what they can offer in terms of the markets they address," he said. "They have all got their own place in life and we just want to avoid having too many in the same segment."

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