Auditorium space at Australian Reseller 96 is a sell-out event, with all presentation areas sold weeks ago. Vendors and distributors will use them to present new technology and services to delegates at the seminar over the weekend of July 27Ð28 at Centrepoint in Sydney.
While a few demonstration areas remain on the seminar's "mini expo" floor, the rush for auditorium space at the event indicates the level of support for Australia's first "open" forum for resellers.
Presentation suites have been booked by Microsoft, Lotus Development, ACA Pacific, Clear Technology, LAN1, Marketing Results, System Solutions and Dataware Technologies.
Demonstration area holders include Epson, Data General, Digital, Oracle, Artisoft, Banksia, Tech Pacific, CHA, Asymetrix, Platinum Technology, IPL Datron, PICA Software, HBM, Xerox, IPC, Command Technical, Hypertec, Universal Software, APC and Tower Systems.
Australian Reseller News will host back-to-back sessions in its presentation suite on the demonstration area level. Topics and speakers include:
Keynote: "The Hardest Sell of All," Paul Zucker, editor, ARN; Selling into the education sector, Mal Lee, Information Technology Education Connection; Making money from the Internet, Geoff Ebbs, editor, WebMaster magazine and top-selling author; Panel discussion: The new service model for Channels - the promise, process and problem for vendor, distributor and reseller; Digital imaging - who's got it, who needs it and how do you make money out of it? John Swainston, publisher, Nikon Light Reading; Making money using the Internet, Scott Williams, Cowley Online; The shifting sands - legal risks and rewards for resellers, Michael Perkins, attorney in IT-related law; The IT industry - facing its greatest challenge, Tony Langman, corporate economist, IDC Retailing; It's about making a sale, NSW Retail Traders Assn; Whither the traditional PC by 2000? Bruce McCabe, manager, desktop systems, IDC; After-sales training - sell it and teach it, John Threlfall, ExecuTrain.
Here is a preview of all presentations:
Microsoft will be using Reseller 96 to cover all aspects of its developing relationship with resellers at all levels. On Stand 6 in the demonstration area, the company will be highlighting its Certified Network Reseller Program - aimed at resellers and organisations specialising in networking. Microsoft is distributing information to this channel via the Internet and CD-ROM.
In Presentation Suite 8, Microsoft will be demonstrating beta versions of the latest edition of its Web browser, Internet Explorer V3. It will also be distributing the new version which is also available for downloading from Microsoft's Web site.
Kevin Burke, Microsoft's solutions program development manager, said the company was also keen to develop small business resellers. "We've set new licensing arrangements through our Microsoft Open License Packs that make our range more attractive for resellers of smaller volumes of our products," he said. On the product side, Microsoft will have available its full product range from Windows NT version 4 to consumer products. Product demonstrations are scheduled at hourly intervals with different types of resellers being catered for in separate sessions.
Leading business software vendor Lotus Development will have a large presence at Reseller 96 - running topical sessions covering three key areas: Lotus SmartSuite, NotesMail and the Internet.
The company will be tempting resellers with the power and value Lotus SmartSuite 96 for Windows 95 can offer their customers. Lotus SmartSuite 96 consists of six integrated applications - Word Pro word processor, 1-2-3 spreadsheet, Freelance Graphics for presentations, Approach database, Organizer calendar, schedular and personal information manager and ScreenCam, the multimedia tool.
Lotus will be demonstrating NotesMail, the leading client/server offering based on cc:Mail. NotesMail provides the reliability, security and performance your clients need now and in the future. It is enhanced for mobile users, has advanced messaging features and Internet integration.
Now with any reseller being able to sell Notes, Lotus sees Reseller 96 as being the ideal opportunity to learn more about this product and its capabilities in the areas of messaging, database management and application development. In particular, sessions will be held on using Notes to set up and maintain a Web site and on building company intranets.
Clear Distribution will be rolling out its new VAD (Value Added Distributor) model that will deliver many benefits to dealers and VARs, taking exhibition space with Siemens Nixdorf as the primary sponsor and acting as a panellist for the Reseller auditorium sessions.
The new model of VAD means that dealers can concentrate on their core business and offerings, leaving the infrastructure and logistics often required to initiate and complete an integration order to Clear.
Clear has a major investment in VAD, having some of the most highly trained engineers in Novell, Microsoft, Intel and SCO, and installing nearly 10 per cent of all NetWare licences in Australia.
Part of its commitment is a large PC hot staging facility which customer-configures all Unisys PCs shipped from the US direct to Clear for Australian distribution, and all Philips PC product and dealer/customer support seven days a week.
Clear's presentation sessions will include overseas speakers from Philips Monitors, DPT, Unisys - and Siemens Nixdorf, a new and aggressive PC and server player in Australia. Sessions on the Asian market, Internet services and how to make the most of your PR will also be a feature.
As a value-added distributor, ACA Pacific specialises in five distinct areas - offering a wide range of solutions in each. These areas are mass storage (including storage management software), document image processing, networking and communications (including products for intranets and the Internet), multimedia products for home and office and mobile computing.
In its theatre-style forum, ACA Pacific will be presenting storage solutions including Seagate hard disk and tape drives and storage management software; a desktop management solution with the PaperPort Vx personal scanner; as well as networking solutions from NetManage software.
Other products being displayed will include modems from US Robotics and Diamond, Multimedia cards from Diamond, Hitachi colour monitors, Hewlett-Packard optical drives, Procom CD towers, and imaging solutions from Bell + Howell, Fujitsu, Kofax and MegaDrive.
Reseller 96 will see System Solutions debut a new version of MESSAGEmanager for use under Microsoft Windows NT. Compatible with Microsoft BackOffice, MESSAGEmanager has been written to take advantage of the multitasking and multithreading features of Windows NT to provide a fast, reliable service for mission-critical fax requirements.
Debra Asciak, research and development manager for System Solutions, said earlier versions of MESSAGEmanager are already installed in many leading organisations in Australia, South-East Asia and Europe. "These include leading banks as well as Parliament House in Canberra where it is used for high volume fax delivery and reception," she said.
Fax presentations and demonstrations will feature a number of popular products including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Novell Groupwise, HP Open Mail and Macintosh. Voice presentations will feature interactive voice response, fax on demand, voice mail and unified messaging.
Founded in 1983, System Solutions is a privately owned Australian company with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and in Wellington, New Zealand.
Dataware is aiming new products at resellers specialising in the development of applications designed to run over the Internet or an intranet. The company's NetAnswer is an information management, query and retrieval system for the World Wide Web. It allows information providers to distribute very large volumes of data, text and multimedia content via the Internet.
For customers not yet ready to establish and maintain their own Internet host, Dataware is offering NetAnswer Hosting Services. The service offers a choice of server and communication bandwidth configurations, data loading frequencies and support options.
NetAnswer is based on Dataware Technologies' text database, BRS/Search, a system originally developed for commercial online systems and now used in more than 2,000 sites worldwide.
Dataware will also be demonstrating its CD-ROM authoring software - claimed to be the most widely used in the world. CD Author Development System is designed to allow non-programmers to develop CD-ROM titles through menu-driven programs that guide the author through the development process.
Rather than focus on the range of software products it publishes and distributes, Marketing Results will be using Reseller 96 to sharpen the skills of resellers through a series of seminars and demonstrations.
The company will be focusing on the needs of resellers and how they can benefit from certain products and markets. Also, there will be sessions on improving merchandising and sales management.
On the fun side, Marketing Results will have get-to-know-you sessions. But also on a serious side, it will be looking at business generally and how managers can improve the bottom line of their business through analysis.
Marketing Results is a major distributor for such leading companies as Quarterdeck, Touchstone and Micro Help. It also publishes its own products.
The transition of Macworld Expo into a new multiplatform expo focused on the growing home, small business and education markets has drawn an immediate response from new exhibitors.
While traditional Macworld Expo exhibitors like Apple, Claris, PICA Software and Next for Mac have re-affirmed their commitment for 1996, the redesigned event has attracted major players like Harvey Norman and its vendors, most of which have IBM-compatible offerings.
Exhibitors like Maxwell Optics, Polaroid Computing and Data Tech have significantly increased their space bookings.
Called Advantage 96: The Home & Education Computing Show, it will run over four days in two halls at Darling Harbour between November 14 and 17.
"This is a different sort of show: it has a very high 'look and learn' content," said show organiser Peter Davidson, MD of Pedlar Marketing. "While Macworld will continue as the major feature zone within the expo, the new show will be market rather than technology based."
Three 100-seat seminar spaces at the expo will offer free tuition to expo visitors.
"Customers in our stores and those we see at PC shows are calling for more than just bargains," said Frank Robinson, proprietor of Harvey Norman's Auburn computer superstore.
"They want new information and skills as well as new technology. Advantage 96 meets that demand for us and our major suppliers, and with them we'll have a major presence there."
International training specialists ExecuTrain have been retained to manage the education content of the show. Expo visitors can get tuition on desktop computing at different expertise levels and applications.
With nearly two million desktop students trained in more than 70 countries every year, ExecuTrain's international experts will also hold special seminars for educators on new teaching methods for IT trainers.