Dicker Data gets tough with Panasonic

Dicker Data has teamed up with Panasonic to distribute its Toughbook range of ruggedised notebooks.

Panasonic introduced Toughbooks to the Australian market almost two and a half years ago. Since then, the products have found applications in a number of key vertical markets, including amongst law enforcement agencies, the armed forces and the telecommunications industry.

The deal with Dicker Data is aimed at expanding the reach of the Panasonic notebooks. The vendor still maintains a strong relationship with its two incumbent distributors, Tecksel in NSW and Teckvic in Victoria.

"I think the customers that Dicker Data reach are very different from Tecksel. It gives us a really broad reseller base," Darren Davis, Panasonic's Toughbook product manager, told ARN.

"There is a lot more margin in our Toughbook range than in the mainstream notebook products and they do very well in vertical markets such as manufacturing and field service. We will launch lower-end models later in the year, but we are still going to focus on the specialised aspects of the Toughbook."

Dicker Data has developed something of a reputation in the notebook market, distributing Toshiba notebooks and products from HP's personal systems group. It is this kind of specialisation that attracted Panasonic to the distributor, Davis said. "The specialised markets are where our products fit in, and I think they will add to Dicker Data's product line-up."

Dicker Data managing director Fiona Dicker agreed that the product would suit the distributor's product range. "I like the Toughbook product," she said.

"It fits well as a specialised notebook that is a good incremental addition to our business, taking us into new markets. We have the right sales team for the Toughbook -- they are very knowledgeable about the product and take a personalised customer approach."