The right notebook for the right audience

The right notebook for the right audience

A miner, a doctor, a roving technician and a soldier – what do these professions have in common? Not much.

A miner, a doctor, a roving technician and a soldier – what do these professions have in common? Not much. So why should those users have their notebooks pulled from a generic pool of technology? As MATTHEW SAINSBURY discovered, the rules are different when selling notebooks at a vertical level.

Shopping for a notebook to replace the ageing desktop at home is a simple enough affair. You just need to wander into your local electronics store with wallet in hand.

It’s just as easy for the sales staff at that store. When the customer’s only requirements are that it allows them to check their email while watching TV at night, and sneak in some World of Warcraft later on, an off-the-shelf notebook is an adequate solution.

But put that same notebook deep down into a typical mine, and it would seize up. Damp air and dust would corrupt data, destroy keyboards and scratch the screen beyond recognition. Clearly, the Orcs of Warcraft’s Azeroth were never meant for humble Earth’s mines.

With different vertical industries each having different technology requirements, there is room for vendors and partners to do brisk business selling and tailoring notebook solutions that address the customer’s individual requirements. Yet, identifying what those requirements are can be a challenge, as some verticals are not as technologically-savvy as others, and customers are not necessarily aware of the maximum returns they can achieve on their notebook investment.

“Sometimes, just by highlighting those returns, the channel partner can encourage the customer to take a better solution, and get a better customer experience, and a little bit more in the way of revenue,” HP market development manager for specialised mobility solutions, Janet Bradburn, said.

“One of the biggest opportunities in looking at vertical markets is the ability to up-sell and attach – which is where a partner gets additional margin and revenue.” A simple example could be attaching logos on the notebook case for corporate users, or providing wireless connectivity for field staff.

Re-entrant into the Australian notebook market, Samsung, similarly reports that the best way to appeal to the vertical customer is to offer the notebook as part of a broader hardware mix.

“Considering Samsung has a wide variety of IT products, from print through to external hard drives and monitors, we’re able to create a value offering at the same time – where we might not be able to reach the requirement in one area, we can create a total package,” Samsung national product and marketing manager, Emmanuele Silanesu, said.

“We find in some verticals, such as medical and transportation, additional options and additional accessories are a big part of the customisation required for making the notebook into a certain application.”

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