GammaTech expands Synnex distribution deal to include Canada

GammaTech DurabookSeeing a growing opportunity for applications that feature ruggedized notebooks and tablet computers, Fremont, Calif.-based GammaTech Computer has expanded its U.S. distribution deal with Synnex to include Canada.

The relationship will fall under the purview of Synnex’s Guelph, Ont.-based Technology Solutions division, and job one will be to start onboarding new solution providers, said John Wheating, Canadian sales manager for GammaTech.

Wheating said Synnex’s TSD is a good fit because of its deep solutions focus, and the fact that his experience and expertise in each of the verticals where GammaTech sees the most opportunity for its Durabook products. Those key verticals include oil and gas, healthcare, utilities, government, public safety and law enforcement, as well as some point-of-sale opportunities.

“We’re after solution providers that fit into these vertical markets,” Wheating said. “We’re looking for solutions-oriented VARs. That’s what we’ve done in the U.S., and it’s been very successful.”

Top opportunities, for a company that views almost the entire market as a greenfield opportunity, include POS resellers looking for rugged devices for retail or restaurants, as well as oil and gas, forestry and other resources markets. And because of the custom solutions aspects of sales in these areas, they are typically opportunities that carry with them significant additional channel revenues in the form of value-add.

“There are a lot of opportunities beyond just supplying and supporting the hardware – lots of professional services,” Wheating said.

The company is 100 per cent built-to-order out of its California headquarters, and it expects Synnex TSD will play a big role in helping partners get the right equipment configured the right ways for their customers.

That BTO flexibility – as well as the fact that the company has 12 product lines today with more on the way – is a big part of the value Wheating says the company brings to its partners, many of whom are used to trying to shoehorn workloads into one of a small handful of options from other vendors in the ruggedized device market.

“We’re bringing our partners a lot more flexibility,” Wheating said.

The company is expecting significant growth from the Canadian market over the course of 2013. Officially, Wheating said the company’s goal is “a minimum” of 1,000 notebooks in Canada next year.

“But the opportunities that are coming through are looking like we’re at that number already, so it really could be 10,000 or more,” he added.

The company has an open channel model, and anticipates it staying that way, but Wheating said that by January, the company intends to have a Canadian version of its Solutions Partner Program available to Canadian partners who are looking to move beyond a strictly transactional relationship and get more benefits (co-marketing, rebates, etc.) from their vendors. Wheating said he hoped to model the Canadian version of the program after a lot of what he saw of the Canadian partner program at Xerox, where he worked before joining GammaTech.

Wheating said he does not see the company seeking additional Canadian distribution partners at this point, preferring to continue to grow the business through Synnex and its year-old relationship with Western Canada-based Pro-Data.