Kingston adds Mobel to Canadian distribution lineup

Kingston Technology Tuesday will announce expanded distribution through EMJ Data Systems and SkyData while adding Mobel Electronics to its list of Canadian partners.

Mobel, based in Pointe-Claire, Que., will carry Kingston’s full line of memory and digital storage products. Kingston has also traditionally served the channel through Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Synnex (formerly Merisel).

David Kuo, general manager of Kingston Technology’s Canadian operation, said the additional distributors would be focusing on the corporate market for Kingston’s branded memory.

“What we found in interviewing resellers is that Tech Data, Ingram and Synnex are great full-line, global partners,” he said. “They do a fantastic job as incumbents in Canada as well, but there are resellers that would prefer I guess more of a regional preference.”

Mobel, which was founded in 1983, is best known for its proprietary Azen line of memory products, which include SIMM, DIMM and DDR modules. The company also has offices in Mississauga, Toronto and Calgary.

“It’s just giving a wider range of product and more choices to the customer,” said Michel Fortin, marketing director at Mobel Electronics Inc. “We have had cases where we would win quotes against Kingston and vice-versa, Kingston would win quotes against us. If you’re able to offer one or the other to our customer mix . . . (We’re) much stronger together than apart.”

Kingston has also been a longtime partner with GB Micro in Montreal, but GB Micro has since fallen on hard financial times. The company shut down its offices in Vancouver in Toronto earlier this year, dropped several products from its lineup before seeking creditor protection in October.

Although Kingston continues to work with GB Micro, Jason Willock, a Kingston reseller with Onward Computer Systems in Calgary, saw the Mobel announcement as a changing of the guard.

“I guess now Kingston’s made Mobel their main distribution node,” he said. “Our position is that we have our partners — Ingram, Tech Data — that’s where we’ll be purchasing 90 per cent of our product from.”

“Quebec is an important region to Kingston, and we really felt we needed a strong partner there,” said Kuo, adding that there is room for a variety of distributors for Kingston’s products. “EMJ is considered a sort of national full-line distributor, but the conversations I had with (EMJ Data president) Jim (Estill) is that he doesn’t necessarily attempt to compete with Ingram Micro.”

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