Psion expands partner program

Psion Teklogix Inc. announced it has signed on 27 new North American channel partners last quarter to help meet its goal of growing channel revenue from 20 per cent in 2003 to 50 per cent in 2005.

Kyle Day, regional vice-president of the Mississauga, Ont. company, said for the first time

in his career people are knocking on his door.

“”Partners and resellers are really coming out of the wall to learn more about our channel program,”” said Day.

Over the past year the company, which is a subsidiary of Psion PLC of England, has switched its focus to mobile computing and wireless data.

“”There’s 25 million mobile workers out there running around with a pen and a clipboard in their hand,”” said Day. “”Mobility is the way IT is going. That’s why we’ve developed this product.””

VARs have shown interest in two of Psion’s most recent product launches, including the Workabout Pro and Netbook Pro hand-held computers. The Netbook Pro is a cross between a PDA and a laptop, making it suitable for health care and pharmaceutical industries.

Psion late last year assigned channel managers to recruit VARs in target verticals including field service, radio frequency identification (RFID), food logistics and health care.

“”We really look for people who add value,”” said Day. “”We’re not looking for people who just move boxes.””

The new partners, who include solution providers and integrators from field service, RFID, food logistics and healthcare markets, join 135 existing Psion’s Ascent Partner Program members. About 20 per cent of that number are Canadian partners. Newcomers include Octanewave Software of Toronto, Willow Technology of Santa Clara, Calif. and Quest Solutions of Sarasota, Fla.

The program offers benefits including marketing support, sales support, customized training and priority service and support to help partners grow their business. Partners also have access to Teknet extranet where they can access information such as product and service bulletins, product specification sheets and case studies.

To qualify, members must be an established value added reseller, system integrator or independent software vendor that focuses on mobile computing solutions market.

Quest Solutions, which has a sales office in Vancouver, said more people were asking for wide area communications devices, but it didn’t have a solution to offer.

“”It really opens up whole other marketplaces that we weren’t able to play in before,”” said company vice-president George Zicman. “”Most of the things we were representing before hand were for in-store type of usage or were non-ruggedized.””

Quest, which services customers in distribution, manufacturing, logistics and retail verticals, is currently doing a couple of Workabout Pro pilot solutions with Psion aimed at the route accounting market. While the firm has not done any sales with Psion yet, it expects its annual revenue growth to continue at a rate of between 30 to 35 per cent.

Zicman had been getting customer requests for devices that can handle harsher environments and sought out Psion because its devices work well at low temperatures.

“”We’ve dealt with all of the majors up to this point and none of them are offering same durability in the terminal or the same wide area capabilities.””

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