Panasonic reconnects Altech

Panasonic reconnects Altech

Altech has re-established a distribution deal with Panasonic to further its efforts in the converging AV and IT markets.

The distributor will focus on corporate and consumer-oriented projectors. It will also have access to the vendor's broader range of audio-visual products. Altech joins existing suppliers J Mills, Rexel and Multimedia Technology.

National sales manager, Kevin Hartin, said it had previously maintained a relationship with Panasonic, but had not been actively selling product for some years.

The chance to re-establish the partnership came when former AMD contact, Steven Fraser, took up the Panasonic sales manager role.

Despite making a significant play in the digital home market, Altech had not previously added any projector vendors to its product mix, Hartin said.

"With our position in the media centre environment and home theatre, it was something we were looking for," he said.

Panasonic's Fraser said the relationship between the two companies had been dormant for three years.

The decision to bring the distributor back on board was driven by its desire to increase market penetration, he said.

Altech's media centre push made it the most likely choice, he said, but Panasonic would also continue to support its specialist AV distributors.

"Our strategy is to use IT distributors to grow our projector and monitor range, then focus on specialist AV for high-end projectors and commercial screens," he said.

Hartin said its growing number of more home-savvy resellers would be first to take up the new product range.

"We are at a junction with dealers," he said. "We are starting to see new resellers come to us on the strength of our digital home work. The addition of Panasonic gives us a more complete solution in that space."

Eager to develop cross-selling opportunities for resellers, Hartin said it was now developing digital home bundles.

"Once the update for Microsoft's Media Center Edition (MCE) is available, we will be in the right position to bring out a number of bundles for resellers," he said.

These could include large screen displays and projectors for example, he said. The distributor produces its own Maestro-branded MCE PCs as well as the electronic programming guide from Ice TV.

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