MSI Computer is undertaking a review of its channel and will look at reshaping distribution to address new product lines. The move is part of an aggressive attack on the notebook space that moves it away from its components history into more consumer-oriented product sets, general manager, Tracy Tsuei, said.
The vendor has announced two new Australian distributors: eSys and Impact Systems. Tsuei said eSys would be focused on its traditional components line, while Impact would be fixed on accelerating take-up of its Megabooks notebook range.
Impact Systems managing director, Peter Agamalis, said the MSI deal was one of the largest in its history.
"While notebooks haven't been our strength, we will work with MSI to promote a strong channel relationship," he said.
Impact typically sold about 100 notebooks a month but hopes to increase that by at least tenfold thanks to the new deal, Agamalis said. It had just received its first shipment of about 1000 machines.
MSI follows rival component vendor, Asus, in trying to break into the upper reaches of the notebook chart.
Like its competitor, Tsuei said MSI was looking to transfer the strength of its name in the motherboard market to notebooks.
To coincide with the drive, MSI would provide onsite warranty services to aid resellers, she said. It had also added two new dedicated technical staff to assist with support.
Tsuei said it was also looking to boost take-up of its CE products. These included an MP3 player, USB-based high definition TV tuner, and Bluetooth connectivity products. The surge in product lines called for an overall change in the way the company approached distribution, she said.
Tsuei said MSI would encourage distributors to focus on certain products.
Impact Systems would be the first example of this approach, she said.
The vendor's other national distributors are Legend, Also Technology, BCN Technology and Ingram Micro.
The next step would be to recruit additional channel partners to assist with bringing the CE products into the local market, Tsuei said.
eSys general manager and director, George Skaf, said its deal with MSI would allow it to branch out from its traditional hard drives territory with a new range of motherboards and VGA graphics cards. He was also hopeful of bringing on MSI notebooks and CE goods.
"Our reliance on hard drives is being reduced," Skaf said. "It's not that we're decreasing sales - in fact we've increased them."
The new range would be used by eSys to grow existing retail relationships, he said.
"We are currently supplying Harvey Norman with Maxtor external drives, so we've got access to the retail channel," Skaf said. "We hope to increase our offerings into that channel."