Motion gets moving on distribution

Motion Computing is turning to wider distribution to get its build-to-order slate PCs into the hands of more VARs.

Until now the Austin, Texas-based manufacturer had only two outlets for its Intel-powered devices, which run on Microsoft’s Windows XP Tablet Edition: Filbitron Systems Group , a Markham, Ont. health care industry specialist which is its sole master solution provider here, and Dell Canada, which ordered product through Synnex Canada.

However, Motion has decided to broaden its relationship with Synnex’s resellers by offering its slates to all of the company’s Canadian resellers, including its EMJ division.

“Synnex has key offices across Canada,” explained Scott Ball, Motion’s country manager here. “It gives us feet on the street across the country.”

The company is using Synnex to target industries such as health care for Motion’s two slates – the base models of the LE1600, with a 12.1-in. colour screen, and the LS800, with an 8.4-in. colour screen – which are sold without keyboards but have an array of available options.

“We wanted to expand the market,” said Mark Tanner, vice-president of EMJ. “We have many customers selling into the healthcare industry and there’s good momentum there.”

“We have resellers that have been looking for more of a customized Tablet PC than what is offered through some of the larger manufacturers.”

Solution providers like the fact that the units can be built to order from the factory in China, which Ball said is one of the company’s competitive advantages. VARs can mix and match screen types (indoor and outdoor viewable), hard drives, RAM, software packages (several Microsoft applications), keyboards, docking stations, power adaptors and warranties. It can also ship direct from the factory by FedEx to customers.

Prices range from $2,500 to $4,000.

Tanner said the distributor is looking for up to five solution providers in each of its major markets to carry the Motion line. “What we really are looking for are companies that have developed software to be sold as a full application to these markets,” he said.

While Microsoft has been predicting that laptops running its Tablet PC operating system will eventually become mainstream, industry analysts have said for years sales are being limited by the small number of applications written for the OS.

Ball refused to say how many Motion slates are sold each year in Canada, but did say that with the expansion of the Synnex relationship he hopes sales will double in the next 12 months.

For VARs, Synnex “gives them a portal to buy from they’re probably already using,” said Ball.

In addition to giving its partners a “mail blast” announcing the availability of Motion products, he expects Synnex will highlight the offering on its Web site. It’s also selecting a number of its partners for him to meet, including some on a trip next week to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The LS800 is powered by a Pentium M ULV 1.2 Ghz processor. The larger LE1600 comes with either a Pentium M LV 1.5 Ghz processor or a Celeron M ULV 1Ghz CPU. Both include Intel PRO Wireless and Bluetooth connectivity and integrated fingerprint readers.

The units come with a base bundle of software, which includes voice recognition. Optional software include a Motion Pak (with Microsoft’s OneNote and Streets & Tips, Alias SketchBook Pro), an Office Pak of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Business Contact Manager and a Medical Pak, (enhanced handwriting recognition for medical words, an electronic medical dictionary and an electronic medical speller.)

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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