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Synnex gets into designing IT products

After a successful pilot project with resellers in Canada, Synnex Corp. is getting into the technology sourcing business

After a successful pilot project with resellers in Canada, Synnex Corp. is getting into the technology sourcing business by launching a new division for special business and consumer technology products the distributor finds or designs.

It’s a jump on competitor Ingram Micro, which is set to

make a similar move shortly.

Called NexConcepts, the Synnex line will be distributed and marketed to its VARs, direct marketers and retail stores. Its first offerings are Israeli-designed PC NoteTaker and Mobile NoteTaker handwriting capture devices.

“”There are new products coming out on this market constantly,”” said Synnex Canada president Martin Mitchell. The new division is Synnex’s way of making sure it gets a piece of that business.

The company tested acceptance of the products here because the majority of large Canadian retailers buy through distributors, he explained.

In the U.S. the big chains buy directly from manufacturers.

The NoteTaker devices were shown at a spring Synnex Canada road show where Mitchell said the reception was “”not bad.””

John Paget, president and COO of Synnex Corp., was a little more expansive; saying the pilot was “”sufficiently strong enough that we decided to move forward with the concept.””

Retailers that picked up the new devices include Future Shop and London Drugs.

The idea for NexConcepts is to build a name around products Synnex is finding among Asian manufacturers. A necessity is that the products can be sold through multiple channels, said Paget.

“”We have very strong presence and reach into the China-Taiwan marketplace where most of these products originate. So it’s a very natural thing for us to have constant contact with these vendors.””

The typical NexConcept device is high-tech yet usually will sell for no more than US$200, he said.

It’s an approach that Ingram Micro is already working on because of the “”aggressive”” emergence of new Chinese IT manufacturers, said Tim Billings, senior director of sales for direct and consumer markets in Canada.

“”We’ve created a global sourcing initiative, which we’ll be launching by the end of the third quarter. (It) will be focused on identifying technologies around the world we can bring to the Canadian marketplace,”” he said.

Unlike Synnex, however, these products will be exclusive to Ingram partners.

Paget said Synnex will try to negotiate exclusive rights to NexConcepts, but that won’t be a prerequisite.

The PC NoteTaker and Mobile NoteTaker are from Pegasus Technologies Ltd. of Israel. PC Note Taker is a fist-sized sensor that clips onto the top of a page to capture handwriting from a digital pen.