IT Reseller Interviews Steve Berry, director at Maxa Technologies
IT Reseller spoke with Steve Berry, director at Maxa Technologies, about a number of recent newly formed partnerships the company has formed within the autoID technology space.
The past few months have seen the forming of a number of major new vendor partnerships at Maxa Technologies, (Maxatec). In January, the company was appointed as a distributor for Arbor Technology, a designer and manufacturer of rugged tablet computers based in Taiwan. Arbor has evolved in recent years as one of the major players within the rugged tablet PC market space. Established in 1993, and with a firm foothold in the embedded and network computing sector, the release of its range of rugged tablet computers in 2010 marked a significant step in Arbor’s strategic product roadmap.
Maxatec director Steve Berry commented that Arbor’s product offerings fit well with Maxatec’s expanding mobile computing product set. “The quality and performance of the company’s Gladius range is superb,” he said, “and we have been delighted with the all-round support offered to us from Arbor UK and its HQ in Taiwan as we have been gearing up to release the products to our channel. It is essential for us to select supportive partners with high-quality products, and Arbor fits this remit exceptionally well. We have already seen significant interest from resellers in some of our key market areas, and this is a really encouraging start to our partnership.”
The Gladius range of rugged tablet PC’s from Arbor consist of 7″, 8″ and 10″ options. It features a fanless design and the dual li-ion battery packs provide about 8 hours of running time. The G0720 and G0820 both have sunlight readable touchscreens and a range of industry specifications including IP54 and MIL-STD-810F, making the products suitable for outdoor use. In addition to the Gladius range, Arbor also offers a range of tablets for the medical and healthcare markets. Design features include: anti-vibration and shock specifications, biometric fingerprint validation, safety requirements for medical electrical systems, radio disturbance and immunity characteristics and much more.
Business on the move
Other news released this January was Maxatec’s UK distributor agreement with Bulgarian EPoS solutions supplier, Datecs, for the Datecs MPED-400 mobile pin-entry device (PED). The MPED-400 is a PCI EMV and Common Criteria-approved device. With a host of connectivity options including Bluetooth, USB and Serial, the PED can be used for a wide range of payment applications; from fixed point of sale to payments taken in the field. The ergonomic and Arbor’s Gladius G1056 tablet lightweight design means the MPED-400 is well-suited to business on the move. Berry commented that with the ‘Handpoint Headstart’ payment application and the Handpoint payment gateway, a wide range of new opportunities are opened up to mobile chip and pin. He added that the PCI and Merchant Bank approved gateway allows payments to be processed efficiently and Hoeft & Wessel’s skeye.e-motion rugged IP54-rated tablet securely through an internet connection. The platforms which the solution can work upon are Windows Mobile, Windows CE, Windows PC, Android and IoS.
These announcements followed hot on the heels of a deal signed between Maxatec and Hoeft & Wessel last December for the distribution of Hoeft & Wessel’s Skeye handhelds. Berry comments that Hoeft & Wessel’s primary focus is on quality and innovation, expertise and reliability, offering a wide range of products for the wholesale & retail and logistics sectors. The quality, German-designed and engineered products include the Skeye.Dart, a robust top-of-the-line PDA, the Skeye.e-Motion, a rugged IP54 rated tablet and the Skeye.POS, a versatile mobile or stationary POS Datecs’ MPED-400 mobile pin entry terminal. Maxatec will be distributing the full Hoeft & Wessel mobile product portfolio which, in addition to the products mentioned earlier, includes the Skeye.Integral mobile rugged handheld device, the Skeye.Allegro, a flexible rugged mobile device with IP65 rating, and the Skeye.Pad, a high performance tablet for a wide range of applications in the field service and logistics sectors.
Berry commented that Hoeft & Wessel’s Skye handheld products perfectly complement Maxatec’s existing portfolio in the UK. He added that Maxatec will be working closely with Hoeft & Wessel’s UK sales manager, Paul Carrington, to develop the reseller base and focus on specific target market areas, while also driving leads and sales back into the channel. “Hoeft & Wessel have grown in the domestic market in Germany in the German-speaking territories by manufacturing in some cases very customer-specific solutions,” Berry pointed out. “They are very close to the retail market and offer some products that are quite unique and very focused at specific challenges in retail. At Maxatec we were very attracted by that because it fits with our own history in this vertical sector. We were also attracted to the unique differences Hoeft & Wessel’s solutions can offer the UK market. They are not your average set of handhelds and their range also moves into some quite retail-specific small tablets that don’t overlap with the range provided by Arbor.”
With all these recent new partnerships, Berry believes Maxatec will continue to attract an ever wider reseller base, incentivised by both compelling product offerings and Maxatec’s own dedicated service and support expertise. “We continue to adopt a more long-term channel approach in that we set out to offer good product with reliable technical backup,” he said. “With this strategy in place we are recruiting resellers that aren’t merely attracted by short-term incentives. Partners come to us because of the support and technical expertise we offer as well as the quality of the product we supply. Our products might be lesser-known brands but they are selected for quality and saleability first and foremost. These products haven’t become commoditised in the way that, say, a laptop PC has become, so there remain many communication, battery management and mounting issues etc. This scenario can provide attractive revenue opportunities for the channel. The stack them high and sell them cheap model doesn’t work for us or our vendor and reseller partners.”