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“Do it yourself” market comes to the channel

DistributionD&H

“Do it yourself” has often been associated with the home-improvement market. The term “do it yourself” or DIY was coined just over century ago and has seen a renaissance in the fashion industry.

D&H Distributing is attempting to further the DIY movement in the IT channel. According to Rob Eby, the vice-president of purchasing of D&H, the DIY trend in the U.S. is heating up and it’s coming to Canada.

“With (on-boarding) new vendors we look at being consistent.We have new vendor meetings weekly to find out what are the new technology trends; what’s happening in the marketplace. We want to be a step ahead for the resellers and one area we are looking into is DIY,” Eby said, who was on hand at the 6th annual D&H Canada Technology Trade Show.

One example of a DIY vendor for the channel are the smart locks from manufacturers Gogi, August Smart Lock, Lockitron and Kevo Lock. Smart locks work in conjunction with a smartphone and can control, authenticate and manage your door and who can go in or not. It can also send a photo of an intruder to your smartphone.

Eby said there are several U.S.-based smart lock companies engaging with resellers for installation opportunities. Long term, D&H envisions a practice around the DIY trend, but for now, Eby added that the smaller VARs are interested in DIY.

“The way the trend is going you can see devices controlling your home, the garage door, the heating and the lighting of your home, all controlled by the smartphone. You can’t call an electrician to help you with this, but an IT VAR certainly can and we want to educate the channel on this,” Eby said.

Another player in the DIY trend is Nest Labs, a company that designs and produces sensor-driven Wi-Fi enabled thermostats that can be programmed and has built-in intelligence.

One of the strategies Eby sees for channel partners on DIY is for those resellers who equip small clinics or legal offices to work with those owners on their homes or cottages.

On top of the DIY trend, D&H is backing the digital lifestyle trend as well specifically for the healthcare market.

Eby said that the digital lifestyle is becoming more prevalent, especially with millennials who are more integrated with their devices. Wearable technology will be a hot trend with high tech watches and bracelets. Eby said that the ageing baby boomer is the target market and they are more sophisticated buyers than the generation before them.

This has led to an increase in tablet sales in D&H. Price, however, is still a challenge for the channel. Eby said that on the consumer level there will be 7-inch tablets priced at $49.99. “That’s ugly,” Eby said.

D&H Canada general manager Greg Tobin told CDN that at the premium level there are customers who will buy tablets based on need rather than price, but overall whenever this is a budget in place; price will always be a factor.