Tech Data updates its Advanced Technology Solution Centre

It’s been 18 months since Tech Data Canada took a bold move and built an Advanced Technology Solution Centre, based predominantly on Cisco Systems. Since then more than 350 solution providers have taken customers on a tour of the $500,000 facility.

Today, Tech Data Canada announced a $300,000 overhaul of the centre that will feature more than 125 solutions mainly targeted at the SMB.

“To remain in advanced technologies you need more advanced technologies. We looked at the new trends and tools that were out there and invested $300,000 to update the centre,” said Ray Gonsalves, the head of the Cisco practice at Tech Data Canada, based in Mississauga, Ont.

He added that the biggest new feature at the centre will be virtualization through VMware. “Virtualization is one of the biggest attractions in the market right now in Canada and it’s the most significant upgrade at the centre. It took a lot of time to redesign the centre because of the new virtualization solutions,” Gonsalves said.

Besides virtualization, the newly revamp Advanced Technology Solutions Centre will also have on display Cisco UC 500 solutions for opportunities in healthcare, dental and legal verticals, POS systems, wireless solutions, new RFID asset tagging solutions, multiple unified communications solutions from Cisco, updated call centre solutions for 50 people up to 1,000, a security desk with more than 60 individual solutions, and digital signage.

At the back of the centre is a new data centre rack for showcasing resilient networks.

“If a server goes down you can get back up and running and it will help you cut costs and allow you to build a giant cloud,” said Gaspar Raposo, the curator of Tech Data Canada’s Advanced Technology Solutions Centre.

The new data centre can display six servers running 27 different servers simultaneously in a virtual environment along with thin clients in a highly secure area, Raposo added.

Of those 350 plus visits to the centre, Tech Data said between 50 to 60 per cent have led to deals being closed by the solution provider.

Adrian DiAdamo, director of distribution channels at Cisco Canada, said that Tech Data Canada’s Advanced Technology Solutions Centre is an important piece in reaching the channel. “We need to find new people to partner with for security and physical security and this centre is the place to build and establish these relationships,” he said.

DiAdamo added that the centre also helps to further relationships with existing partners across Canada and drives sales to customers.

One of the next solutions to be considered for the centre is WebEx along with Telepresence, said Cisco Canada distribution chief.

Don’t look for Tech Data to build an Advanced Technology Solutions Centre at their facility in Richmond, B.C. Rick Reid, Tech Data Canada, president said the cost would be too high and that customers and solution providers out west find it more cost effective to travel to Toronto and meet with Tech Data and Cisco in one trip.

The centre does have reach, however. Raposo said that he can perform demonstrations through a 360 degree camera set up at the ceiling of the centre to anyone in 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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