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From the Computer Trade Show floor

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Channel Roundup It's dealer-tastic at Birmingham's NEC, with CTS, the UK get-together for channel firms targeting system builders, and sister exhibition, the Comms Show, for telephony resellers, both running this week. Here are some announcements which caught our eye.

Centerprise praises Sweex

Centerprise banged the drum at CTS for its latest signing - Sweex Essentials, which include input devices, memory devices, modems, MP3 players and sound cards. Andy Chandler, Centerprise's operations director, said the line was "renowned across Europe for its superior quality, very aggressive pricing and healthy dealer margins."

Centerprise also announced at the show that it has been appointed "master distributor" for Nissan Technology, which makes TFT monitors, high definition TVs and a DVD player. Nissan Technology was spun out of Nissan Group.

Alberto Ingber, vice president of consumer electronics for Nissan Technology EMEA, said: "Nissan cars have become so phenomenally popular in Europe because they have developed a well-earned reputation for adding value: providing features such as electric windows, ABS and CD players as standard...Nissan Technology is entering the consumer electronics market with the same values."

TDS and Samsung

TDS Distribution has rebranded to TDS AV Distribution to better reflect its core business of projectors, presenters and LCD monitors. TDS AV Distribution hs won the right to distribute Samsung's range of digital presentation products. TDS AV will sell Helios presenters as well as the SDP-6500 projector. TDS describes the presenters as "best of breed".

Aventi lights up the night

Distributor Aventi used the CTS to demonstrate NightOwl keyboards. The British-designed keyboards come in four colours and have five levels of brightness, controlled by two hot keys. They will work on any PC or Mac and are aimed at "night surfers and students". Mark Gray, marketing manager at Aventi, welcomed the product, which breathes "life into a fairly dull category.".

Toshiba jigs channel programme

Toshiba Business Communications, which provides telephony and converged devices to small and medium businesses, is changing its channel programme to encourage more resellers to sign up. Tosh will offer a new category of Certified Partner for entry-level dealers - there is no minimum turnover for this category. All resellers will be regarded as partners, whether they buy their kit directly or indirectly will make no difference. Minimum service levels are being introduced for partners as well as sales and training targets.

Philips goes for small biz

Philips is aiming its SOPHO Mybusiness@Net product squarely at the SME market. SOPHO aims to provide an all-in-one communications system for small business. The application includes: address book, voicemail and directory services. Philips Business Communications also announced three senior appointments: Paul Kievit is COO, Jacques Sterkman is director of global services and Gustav Lampe becomes general manager of the German office.

Alcatel chases dealers

Alcatel also used the Comms show to drum up more resellers. Alcatel is looking for resellers on behalf of its distributors Azlan, MTv and Rocom. Interested dealers are warned that there is a "sales training bootcamp" in May. Trevor Evans, business development at Alcatel said in a statement: "Alcatel intends to more than double its distribution-managed reseller base during its drive to boost business during 2004."

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