A remote management equipment manufacturer has signed a distribution deal with Tech Data Canada, giving its resellers here faster access to product.

The arrangement with Raritan Computer Inc.’s Canadian arm began this month, according to country manager Jerry Diakow.

“”Tech Data has

made a commitment to stock the full product line in Canada,”” he said in an interview, “”and will provide same day or next day service for our authorized and unauthorized resellers.””

While it’s had a distribution arrangement with Ingram Micro Canada since the Canadian office opened last July, Ingram wasn’t stocking Raritan’s KVM (keyboard, video, mouse switches, used to remotely control servers and applications for and from data centres.

Instead it was drawing gear from Ingram’s U.S. warehouses.

As a result many VARs ordered equipment from Raritan’s New Jersey headquarters. Not only were there delays in gear crossing the border, Diakow noted, they also paid in U.S. dollars.

Buying through Tech Data Canada means there’s no currency exchange concerns, he added.

The change may help Diakow reach his goal of tripling the Canadian unit’s 2004 revenues.

Also part off that strategy is an “”aggressive marketing”” campaign which includes targeted telemarketing aimed at providing leads to authorized resellers.

Raritan has a three-level partner program; which began in December; with two platinum, six gold and two silver resellers.

Authorized resellers can make up to 40 per cent gross margins on products, he said.

Raritan makes IT management solutions based on KVM switches, serial console servers, remote connectivity products and management software.

It began with analogue KVM gear, Diakow said, but as business infrastructures consolidate into a few data centres or are placed in co-location centres, KVM over Internet Protocol is becoming important.

Its latest products, released this week, are add-ons to its enterprise-class Paragon II KVM switch.

The US$2,495 UST-IP user station is said to simplify access to Paragon II-connected servers over IP networks. UST-IP is combines into one device thecapabilities found in a Paragon II user station and the IP gatewayfunctionality of IP-Reach.

It also gives remote users on/off/recycle capabilities for servers and other devices connected to Raritan’s intelligent power strips. Supporting 128-bit SSL encryption, the UST-IP authenticates users using Paragon II’s database.

Also announced was the Z-CIM computer interface module, which is said to help extend the management capabilities of Paragon II. It will allows the connectionof up to 42 mixed-platform servers on a single Category 5 cable chain, usingonly one of the Paragon II’s ports (Paragon II is available in 32-, 42- and64-port models.)

In addition, distances from the main switching unit to the last Z-CIM in the Cat5 chain can be extended up to 1,000 feet.

Three Z-CIM models; USB, Sun and PS/2 connectors – are available to support all server platforms. By cascading and stacking Paragon II switches, up to 10,000 servers can be managed from one user station.

Pricing will be announced shortly.

Diakow was cautious about his plans to increase the number of channel partners.

“”If my current set of partners achieves my growth targets I’m not going to expand,”” he said. More important than numbers is geographic coverage.

But, he added, “”I’m going to have as many partners as I need to get the job done.””

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