Sick of calling your distributor, leaving messages, playing phone-tag? Need product and pricing information? Many distributors and vendors are now taking their info to the Web, with reseller-only sections requiring PINs and user names now common. They offer easy access to information that you may need in a hurry - let your finger do the clicking, print it out and relax . . . a run-down of distributors now on the Web follows. It's by no means comprehensive, but here goes . . . (PS: let us know if you've got an addition) By Molly FurzerAdvance Peripheralswww.ozemail.com.au/~advper/A distributor of storage and graphics products, Advance Peripherals maintains a comprehensive volume of information on this site. Supplier Web-links include Cheyenne, Syquest, MicroSolutions, Fujitsu, Hitachi and Sony. Product listings are still under construction at the moment, but will include specifications and warranty information. Information such as products and pricing are updated fortnightly or as needed. Price lists are available over the Internet for resellers with a password and user name. To obtain access to the pricing pages, contact Advance Peripherals on (02) 9983 9666 for your password.
Another site under construction - but it is evident that wheels are in motion. At the moment you can check out this distributor's product specifications on Seagate, IBM, and Adaptec product lines. On the drawing board are plans for a "dealers' eyes only" section to be launched in about two months, which will most likely hold product and pricing information with the intention of online purchasing to be available to its resellers. Resellers holding an account with Agate will be notified and given a password to access this section.
Alloy Computer Products
Alloy is still in the process of building its Web site, although a fair amount of information has been posted, such as product listings (no prices as yet, the catalogue is expected to be up in about a month) and supplier links. A handy technical support section providing "generic background information and troubleshooting guides" for Alloy products is also up.
This site details the product lines that Anabelle Bits distributes, including its own ASI range of computers. Pricing lists can be accessed with a PIN issued by Anabelle Bits, however you must have an account with the distributor. To get a PIN, fill in the form at www.anabelle.com.au/catalog/index.htm.
Thumbs up to CHA. According to the home page, CHA's site "provides ready access to marketing, sales and technical information". It features a "Reseller Support Centre" from which it is possible to download marketing related software such as CHA vendors' electronic catalogues on disk and price lists (refreshed automatically when CHA updates its own main system). Within a month CHA intends to launch a second stage to the Web site offering online ordering, stock availability look-up, and the ability to track orders. Resellers will also be able to download product brochures.
The site also has links to CHA's vendors such as Toshiba, Canon, Digital and NEC. A password is required to gain access, so e-mail CHA on the Contents page (www.ch.com.au/contact.htm) or call James Robbins on (03) 9251 3111.
Chips and Bits
"Chips On-Line" has been designed to give up-to-date product, pricing and supplier information. Chips and Bits maintains an online database of buy prices, stock availability (updated hourly), product information, sales tax rates and RRPs. An ID and password are required to access the information, so contact Chips and Bits on (03) 9696 1911. Chips and Bits intends online ordering to be made available by the end of 1997.
Digital Networks Australia
This site is due for a revamp within the next couple of months. On the drawing board are plans to put DNA's entire catalogue online including pricing. Resellers holding accounts with DNA will be given access usercodes and PINs. At the moment there are a number of local software downloads from Network Instruments, Castlerock Computing, Process Software and Frontier Technologies available at the site.
A good-looking catalogue of Edge's products, containing detailed information such as system requirements and package contents. No pricing is available as yet.
ExpressNet is an online catalogue for Express Data's resellers (you are required to log-on with a password and ID available from your Express Data account manager). By far one of the more sophisticated sites, resellers are able to check current stock levels in real time, check back orders and receive notification of when stock is expected to arrive at the warehouse. Pricing is updated every night and can be downloaded or viewed online in Adobe Acrobat format. Product and promotional updates are also provided. i.t.connXionswww.itx.net.auOnline pricing is available at this site to i.t.connXions Priority Partners. If you are a Priority Partner, enter the password published in the i.t.connXions Priority Partners Price Book to gain access. A zipped Excel spreadsheet of i.t.connXions prices may be downloaded. The site also offers links to suppliers and networking news.
Beware, this distributor of LAN and WAN solutions is currently constructing its site. LanSystems' site currently holds product briefs, but soon to come are pages on services, support and ordering. Pricing will be available by mid-May and there is currently a beta version of an online ordering facility. Resellers can apply for the access password at the Web site.
A highly comprehensive site, it provides resellers with product information, the 1997 schedule for MUA training courses and product prices. Prices can only be accessed by resellers holding an MUA user name and password (register at the site). Retail and dealer prices can be viewed online in a Java application or downloaded.
This site offers products and pricing information (prices ex tax), and a launchpad to its vendors' home pages such as Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Toshiba, Netcomm and Compaq. It also has a "resellers only" section requiring a dealer account number and password to be entered. This section contains information on "special Prion promotions, reseller training dates, Prion Reseller Caremail and contact information". For further information contact Prion on 1800 632 637.
"TechLink" is strictly for Tech Pacific Accredited Resellers. It contains product, pricing and technical information. Tech Pacific claims the "Products and Pricing" section is "refreshed each night and stock availability is updated every 15 minutes throughout the day". Go to www.techpac.com.au/techlink/rego.htm to register for a PIN number.
Vantage Point Technology
Company profile, products and online pricing are available at this distributor's Web site. A PIN is required to access the prices. Contact Vantage Point Sales on (02) 9936 1600 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A US-based site and thus does not concentrate on what's happening here, though a source for information on the products Westcon carries. Westcon plans to add pages on its Australian operations soon. It has not been decided whether pricing will be included.
Real soon now
Q*Soft: coming to a browser near you in about a month or so.
Dicker Data: currently working on its siteDigiLand: up in a month or so.
Lanvision: currently constructing its site.
Westan: in the process of setting up a site.