Distribution Briefs

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E-Commerce Meets the Back Office

Westcon Group is a giant step closer to deploying its global ERP system, which will manage its mission-critical information from one centralized location. To date, all three of the Tarrytown, N.Y.-based distributor's North American subsidiaries,Comstor, Westcon and Voda One,are now fully integrated into the Compass ERP system. The system, which is based on J.D. Edwards' OneWorld Xe software suite, streamlines order processing, logistics and finance in real-time, 24/7. Via a password-protected site, users can enter and track orders, determine pricing and product availability by warehouse facility, handle returns online, and print customized reports. Those functions were previously handled via telephone and e-mail. Global integration is expected to be completed by July.

School's Out For GE Access...

GE Access, a distributor of complex computing products, services and solutions, has sold its six educational facilities to Exceed Education, a wholly owned subsidiary of Educational Services International. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The move was aimed at allowing GE Access to focus on the areas of storage, security, networking and its Sun business, according to James Walker, senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer at GE Access. The distributor, ranked as fourth-largest in VARBusiness' 2001 Distribution 25 ranking, will continue to distribute courses from vendors including Infinity I/O, Veritas and Sun; courses will be delivered by Exceed or those vendors.

...But Class Is In Session

For LCDs D&H Distributing is offering displays from NEC-Mitsubishi, including its 15-inch Thin Frame flat-panel LCD, MultiSync multimedia enhanced LCD and full line of CRT products. Noting a trend toward upgrades to flat-panel displays in classrooms, D&H is targeting systems builders catering to the education market,one of the top five verticals VARs say presents the greatest opportunity in the next three years, according to VARBusiness' 2001 State of the Market research.

Around Arrow Electronics

Distributor Arrow Electronics has set up the Arrow Consulting Engineering Services (ACES) program to enable solution providers to assist with their customers' outsourcing needs. ACES will offer third-party system and board-level design know-how, provided by alliances Arrow plans to form with design companies. Separately, Arrow has released the Connectivity Dashboard,a supply-chain intelligence infrastructure that connects customers within an organization to industrywide data on millions of components and to Arrow's infrastructure expertise. The system will better help VARs manage their information and product flow.

Avnet Signs Deal With Wavelink

Avnet Convergent Technologies has announced a distribution agreement with Wavelink, a leading provider of enterprise mobile infrastructure software. Avnet will distribute Wavelink's wireless application-development, network-management and mobile-device solutions to its VAR channels that focus on wireless and mobile-computing solutions. Wavelink's products enable businesses to seamlessly integrate and extend their existing systems to deliver wireless solutions to their workforces, lowering costs and safeguarding the company from the changes and complexities of wireless technologies.

Tech Data Tackles Tablets

Tech Data has expanded its Information Appliances Specialized Business Unit to include tablet PCs and personal digital assistant (PDA) technology products from ViewSonic and Sony. The additions reflect the sustained market interest in mobile business solutions that improve field personnel productivity and also heighten competitive advantages. Tech Data is ViewSonic's exclusive distributor for the ViewPad 1000 Tablet PC and the ViewPad 100 SuperPDA products. Tech Data also offers authorized-reseller customers Sony's CLIE handheld-computer models

and CLIE optional accessories.

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