Promethean, which sells in-classroom interactive technologies including whiteboards, flat-panel displays, and student response systems, sells through a number of resellers, and previously had a distribution relationship with Hartco, which late last year, handed over its distribution business in Canada to Tech Data.
The two companies are not strangers, though. Tech Data Europe is a longtime distributor for the vendor. While the deal is not exclusive, Tech Data Canada is, at least for the time being, the vendor’s only broadline distribution partner in Canada.
“We see the educational market changing rapidly. It’s becoming highly interactive for both students and educators, and Promethean fits that bill very well,” said Manal Guirguis, director of product management at Tech Data Canada. “It brings new opportunities to our resellers for added solutions in that market space with very promising profit lines, and it gives them to the opportunity to expand the discussion with their end users.”
Tech Data’s main goal is to serve as an evangelist for Promethean in the Canadian channel, and building up awareness and opportunity within the broader channel community. As well as being high demand, Guirguis said sales of the products into education are a strong opportunity for partners because of services involved in the sale of the products.
“It’s really a project management environment with a high level of ownership for the reseller, and it needs a solution providers with a great understanding of the classroom environment,” Guirguis said. “Beyond the initial sales, there are always levels of maintenance and management to give them further ownership of those accounts.”
While Promethean is primarily focused on the education market, Guirguis said Tech Data Canada also sees opportunity in the enterprise market.
“Corporate Canada is looking new ways to conduct training for employees, and this is a very effective way of doing that training,” she said. “We’re showing them different strategies.”
The distributor currently has about $1 million in Promethean inventory, Guirguis said, and is reaching out to existing Promethean resellers who don’t have close relationships with Tech Data. And for partners new to Promethean but not to Tech Data, Guirguis said the distributor’s digital signage sales specialists have been trained on Promethean’s wares and are set to help partners get authorized with the vendor.
Promethean products are also on display and available for demos at the distributor’s Advanced Technology Solutions Centre at its Mississauga, Ont. headquarters.