• Computer Product Solutions

Panasonic Toughbook brings its Top 100 European channel partners together to plan next phase of expansion

Panasonic Toughpad tablets and vertical industry solution sales are a key focus for the Year ahead

BRACKNELL, UK. 9 September 2013

Panasonic Computer Product Solutions (CPS), manufacturer of rugged Toughbook laptops and Toughpad tablets, today brings its top 100 European partners together in Portugal to celebrate a year of channel success and to focus on its next phase of expansion, which will be powered by a growing tablet range and expanded industry solutions offering opportunity in both new and existing sectors.

In the UK, more than 620 business opportunities have been registered by channel partners over the last year, representing over £151m worth of UK business. The UK Toughbook team fulfils all new business with its channel partners and therefore expects 80% of its business to come through the channel in the coming year.

At the second annual Toughbook Engage Partner Conference, in Lisbon, channel partners will hear how the new Toughpad range, combined with applications, hardware and peripherals from technology partners, is opening up new opportunities within existing verticals, but also generating demand in new sectors, such as transportation, retail and logistics. Technology partners such as Absolute Software, Antenna Plus, Brother UK, CentraStage, Gamber-Johnson, Havis, InfoCase, Lind Electronics, Man and Machine, and Socket Mobile, are supporting the event.

“This year’s conference aims to bring together as many of our 22 Official Distributors and 86 Premier Partners across Europe as possible,” said Sophie Nicolay, European Channel Marketing Manager at CPS. “Interactive workshop sessions will guide partners on how best to address new opportunities opened up by trends in each market and Toughbook’s unique value proposition within the various verticals. Channel partners will have the opportunity to meet technology partners that will enable them to offer an even stronger portfolio of end-to-end rugged and mobile solutions. Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural event, we hope to reinforce our partner strategy and thank our partner community for their ongoing support and business. Revenue from partners increased by 31% from FY11 to FY12 and incremental business brought to us by partners continues to grow, as does the programme itself.” 

Expansion in Russia, Turkey and CEE

Panasonic CPS’ European network of Official Distributors, Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s), and Premier and Registered Partners has grown to almost 750 different companies, up from just under 500 this time last year, in 36 different countries across Europe, with significant growth in members from CEE, France and Italy. The programme is also set to launch in local language in Turkey and Russia this autumn.

Putting the channel at the core of its go-to-market strategy, CPS has invested more than €1.5m in over 350 joint marketing initiatives with over 80 different channel partners to stimulate growth.

The company now has dedicated Partner Account Managers in place in 9 core regions across Europe, a dedicated and centralised marketing and operations team, and has adapted its internal processes with the channel in mind. Members of the Engage Partner Programme benefit from Marketing Development Funds (MDF), co-branded marketing campaigns, qualified leads, preferential pricing or “points for prizes” for registering deals, discounted demonstration units, regular communications and a comprehensive E-Learning training programme for partner certification. A training incentive run at the start of the year led to over 2500 online courses being taken by partners across Europe.

European Rugged Notebook and Business Tablet Leader

Panasonic became the European market leader for rugged business tablets in 2012 with a 29% unit share of the market, according to the latest results from analyst group VDC Research. Driven by the success of its growing range of rugged business Toughpad tablets, Panasonic took European top spot for rugged tablets with a 400% year-on-year increase in units shipped. The company also maintained its dominant position in the rugged notebook market with a 63% unit share for its Toughbook range.

Lee Driscoll, Azlan ETC Sales Director, said: “The exciting range of new Panasonic Toughpad tablets are purposely designed to provide businesses with specialist computing devices to help get the best from their mobile workforces. With the ever expanding range of specialist devices and specialist application, hardware and peripheral partners, we see tremendous potential for growth as part of the Engage Partner Programme.”

For further information on the Panasonic Toughbook and Toughpad products visit: www.toughbook.eu.