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Japan to star as Partner Country at CeBIT 2017
It's official: the Partner Country at CeBIT 2017 will be Japan, as announced by Deutsche Messe AG as the producers of CeBIT. The agreement pairs the world's leading event for the digitalization of business, government and society with an absolute global frontrunner in R&D and all things high-tech and digital. During a visit to Germany last May by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel invited Japan to be honored as the official Partner Country for CeBIT 2017 – an invitation that Prime Minister Abe cordially accepted, adding that Germany is Japan's biggest and most important European trading partner. The show's partnership with the world's third-largest economy is well timed, coinciding as it does with Prime Minister Abe's call to strengthen his country's domestic industrial base and revitalize the global economy. In Abe's industrial and economic strategy, digitalization plays a very special role.
Oliver Frese, the member of Deutsche Messe's Managing Board responsible for CeBIT, commented by saying: "Japan is one of Germany's most important economic and trading partners in the Asia region. As the organizers of CeBIT, we are proud to have the chance to further deepen and enhance the close bilateral ties we share. Our two nations both place major emphasis on export business, and each is home to major manufacturers and providers across multiple industries. I am therefore confident that the upcoming show will feature a wealth of ground-breaking innovations. Japan's Partner Country involvement will spark considerable innovation across every sector of our economies."
The leading German IT industry association BITKOM sees Japan as a key trading partner. "Japan is an incubator of digital technologies", commented its president, Thorsten Dirks. "It is home to highly innovative industries that are undisputed world leaders in many fields, including driverless vehicles and robotics. Moreover, it is a society that welcomes innovation and readily embraces new technology – something that we here in Germany could learn a great deal from. Japan is also a key trading partner for German ICT companies. All of which points to CeBIT as the perfect platform for furthering bilateral dialogue, particularly for SMEs and startups."
BITKOM figures indicate that Japanese exports of ICT products to Germany in 2015 totaled €1.3b, up a good 19% from 2014. German ICT exports to Japan also increased – by around 15% – taking the 2015 total to approximately €270m euros. As a developer of digital technologies, Japan ranks among the world's foremost innovators. And it is putting these technologies to many novel uses, e.g. for the benefit of its aging and declining population, with huge resources being invested in in intelligent assistive and care systems. Other top priorities on Japan's digital agenda are the Internet of Things and associated IT security issues. In pursuit of these goals, Japan is also increasingly engaging in international partnerships. Making the country one of the world's most progressive societies by the year 2020 – in time for the Tokyo Olympics – is a major objective currently being pursued by the Japanese government.
E-Concept launches Gameside
French gaming specialist E-Concept has started the distribution of the GameSide game console vertical wall mount through its reseller network.
A busy summer for Allnet, Caseking, Siewert & Kau and Tarox
Germany: the summer does certainly not mean a pause in business for IT distributors, with new announcements for many of them. Cabling and networking specialist Allnet has thus inked a distribution deal with outdoor wireless infrastructure vendor IgniteNet. PC component distributor and retailer Caseking has added Phononic Peltier coolers to its catalog. Broadliner Siewert & Kau has expanded its digital signage offer with Philips large format displays. Finally, broadliner and PC vendor Tarox has hired Martin Pfleiderer as new marketing and communication manager. He replaces Karina Bachmann who goes on maternity leave (source: CRN Deutschland and Channel Observer Deutschland).
Computer Gross, Fiore, Pico and V-Valley sign new vendors
Italy: broadliner Computer Gross has expanded its security portfolio with Panda products and Avigilon video-security products. Cabling and networking specialist Fiore has added Riello UPS to its offer. Software specialist Pico has started the distribution of Twixl Publisher, a mobile content publishing platform. Finally, V-Valley, the value division of broadliner Esprinet, has chosen as SGBox as new vendor, aiming to help resellers and their customers manage and resolve their security problems (source: Channel City Italia, Digital4Biz Italia and Top Trade Informatica Italia).
Resellers take full advantage of Tech Data's additional €180m credit investment
United Kingdom: broadliner Tech Data has seen exceptional uptake by resellers of the additional credit lines it provided to more than 4,000 of its customers two months ago, with customers taking advantage of the extra flexibility to drive sales and business growth. The company grew its SMB sales by 20% year-on-year in June and believes that growth has been boosted significantly as a result of the increased credit lines. Resellers have also been have been making use of the additional facilities to finance sales to the education sector, which is in its peak purchasing period over the summer holiday period.
In mid-June Tech Data made additional credit totalling more than €180 million available to its customers. One company that has benefited is Blackburn-based reseller, Nybble. Ram Gupta, Managing Director of the company, said the additional credit facilities had made a real difference. "It is a very positive move and really helped us. Having the extra credit give us much more flexibility and is a real enabler for our business. It means we can go into customers with confidence, knowing that we can finance the business and have been able to accept orders that we otherwise might have had to turn down." Only a few days after being given the extended credit facility, Nybble took an order for 40 laptops and two charging trolleys from a local primary school worth more than €54,000. Ram Gupta says that the extra credit and extended payment period made the deal financially viable. The company was also discussing the replacement of servers with the school.
Vendors have also been pleased with the results. Andy Bass, SMB and Channel Director from the UK and Ireland at Lenovo, stated: "This is a really great initiative that has helped many Lenovo resellers to do more business right away – not only in education but also in the commercial space. We applaud Tech Data for taking this bold step and making such a positive commitment to supporting partner growth."
Ram Gupta said that the extended facilities are also helping Nybble to manage cashflow. "At busy times of the year you can very quickly find yourself stretched, especially if you have been increasing your spending to finance new business and payments from customers do not come in as expected. Having the extra credit just makes it easier for us to manage that and plan ahead, so it's been positive for us in a number of ways", he added. In his view, Tech Data has set a benchmark in the UK channel. "I believe Tech Data has sent a clear message with this initiative – namely that they understand the needs of smaller businesses and that they are ‘the distributor of choice' for SMB resellers. What they have done is a game changer."
Cathi Low, Director of SMB and Public Sector at Tech Data, said that uptake from resellers of the credit lines has been exceptional. "We've been thrilled that our customers have responded so positively. A very large proportion of them have made use of the additional credit available. It's clearly making it easier for them to do business and fuelling significant growth for the channel. It's an excellent outcome." In addition, the company is providing extended payment terms to resellers targeting the education sector with audiovisual solutions, so they can take full advantage of opportunities that will emerge as schools upgrade their classrooms and infrastructure during the summer holidays.
The extra credit has been applied to the accounts of frequent customers automatically, giving them the flexibility to do more business and drive growth with both existing and new customers. The additional credit lines will also ensure that resellers who are focused on the education market, which is now entering its peak summer buying phase, are able to make the most of their opportunities. The extended invoice payment terms are designed to help education-focused partners, and in particular those selling audiovisual equipment, such as large format interactive displays, digital signage and collaboration solutions, to manage the longer payment cycles that are typical in the public sector. In July, where 50 percent or more of verified orders from education are made up of products sold by Maverick, Tech Data's specialist audiovisual business, payment terms can be extended till September on application. The additional credit enables resellers to consolidate all their ordering through Tech Data, simplifying processes and making it easier to do business. It has demonstrated its commitment to making it easy for customers to do business with a number of strategic investments this year. It has launched a new Marketing Portal and Web Store, and introduced Category Stores sections on is InTouch website. As well as these extended credit facilities, Tech Data provides a range of services that build value for resellers selling to the education sector, including a dedicated Public Sector microsite, a virtual classroom that enables resellers to explore the different options and technologies available to customers (a white-label version of this is also available), special education pricing and discounts from over 30 vendors. It runs regular Tendering Workshops that enable resellers to learn how to navigate the procurement process and develop their education business.
Cloud Labs chooses Softprom
User activity monitoring editor Cloud Labs has chosen Ukrainian software specialist Softprom as its official distributor in the CIS. Softprom will distribute Cloud Labs solutions in the region through its offices in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia (source: Komputernoye Obozrenye Ukraina).
Jakob Software in partnership with MediaTest Digital
Germany: software specialist Jakob Software has added the AppVisory mobile fleet management tool from MediaTest Digital to its portfolio.
Townsend Software chooses Hermitage
France: encryption editor Townsend Software has inked a distribution partnership with security VAD Hermitage Solutions.
Nokia Networks appoints Businesscom
Nokia Networks has appointed telecom VAD Businesscom as official distributor for its Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise voice and data products in the Benelux region. Businesscom will distribute these products through its offices in Belgium and the Netherlands (source: Channel Connect Nederland).
Midwich welcomes 30 new employees as investment in growth and expertise continues
United Kingdom: AV broadliner Midwich has recently hired 30 new employees - part of them coming from bankrupt competitor Steljes - across the Group in a variety of locations and roles. Ranging from Brand Campaign Manager, Logistics Coordinator, Solutions Specialist and General Sales Manager, the new employees highlight Midwich's ongoing investment in its people and in the areas of operation. Midwich is constantly investing in its staff to continue to service its channel partners to the highest possible standards. All new staff will be involved in induction weeks as they are welcomed to Midwich.
Iain Campbell, Sales Director at Midwich, said: "We are delighted to be able to announce so many talented individuals joining Midwich. Our employees are the expertise in this business and they are crucial to our success. We are always looking to invest in our existing workforce and to bring in new specialists to drive our already high levels of service. Attracting and bringing in specialists from other businesses shows that we are investing in, promoting and reinforcing our strapline – ‘Our Expertise is Your Advantage’. We welcome all our new employees and look forward to working with them moving forward."
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