Siemens Nixdorf has its work cut out for it. The German-based hardware manufacturer seeks to be among the top five PC manufacturers in Australia by 2000. Although he acknowledges that's a long way from Siemens' current 34th-in-the-market status, national channels manager Scott Caulfield says Siemens officials are confident the company can replicate its success in Europe here.
So just how exactly does Siemens intend to leap 29 places in the next four years? "We think Siemens' strengths on the international scene are going to help us drive the PC market here," Caulfield said. "Our operating capital means we can do things in the market more quickly than other companies may be able to. For example, in terms of price, we're going to equal or beat the top three PC players." Caulfield also points to Siemens' extensive warehousing and staging facility at Gladesville, NSW that he says will do a lot to ensure the company is able to ensure a steady supply of customised-to-order product.
Although its profile is fairly low, Siemens' PC operation in Australia is rapidly approaching its first birthday. "We started the PC division here last October, and most of the time since then has been spent setting up our own internal infrastructure. Now we're gearing up to take it public," Caulfield said. At the forefront of Siemens' Australian campaign is its line of Scenic Pro PCs: the Scenic Pro 100, 133 and 166, distributed by Clear.
In the Clear
Ian Charles, Clear's national distribution and sales manager, says Clear is confident Siemens' PC rollout will be successful. Although he acknowledges Siemens' goals are, indeed, lofty, Charles says it's all a matter of "educating the marketplace". "We're going to be selling on performance. The products have all of the qualifications of tier-one products: the right quality, the right price point, the right service. Our job is to create the brand awareness in the marketplace and to position Siemens against other tier-one vendors and win major bids," he said.
Although Charles says Siemens' price points will be competitive, he says Clear won't be selling based on price. "The range is so loaded with benefits, price isn't going to be the primary selling point, quality is. We're going to get that message across by advertising and by educating dealers and integrators," he said.
Caulfield says Siemens is targeting two distinct consumer groups for its PC line: small- to medium-sized businesses and large enterprises. "Our resellers will serve the small- to mid-sized market. That market accounts for just under half of the overall PC market," he said. "We're going after large enterprises, who account for about 27 per cent of the PC market, via a select group of VARs and integrators. We're not really focusing on the other quarter of the market, the education and SOHO sectors."
The Scenic view
Siemens' line of Scenic Pro PCs breaks down this way:
The Scenic Pro 100 has a Pentium 100 MHz processor, 16Mb memory, a 1.2Gb hard drive and CD-ROM. RRP: approximately $2,800.
The Scenic Pro 133 has a Pentium 133 MHz processor, 16Mb memory, a 1.2Gb hard drive and CD-ROM. RRP: approximately $3,100.
The Scenic Pro 166 has a Pentium 166 MHz processor, 16Mb memory, a 1.2Gb hard drive and CD-ROM. RRP: approximately $3,500.
Planned for release in September is Siemens' line of notebooks centred on the Scenic Pro 500, an entry-level model offering maximum mobility, and the Scenic Pro 700, aimed at power users. Pricing information is forthcoming.
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