Notebooks/Mobile Computers: Panasonic Gets Tougher As It Listens And Learns

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Panasonic has made giant ARC steps in just its second year of competing for the crown in the Notebook and Mobile Computers category. Last year, Panasonic's first in the survey, the rugged notebook manufacturer placed fourth behind stalwarts including Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo. But in 2009, Panasonic took top honors.

Sheila O'Neil, vice president of channel sales for Panasonic, said the reason the vendor improved so much year-over-year is because it took to heart the results of last year's ARC and made an effort to address the deficiencies pointed out by solution providers.

"Over the past year, we wanted to make moves designed to make Panasonic easier to do business with, while increasing our partners' satisfaction," she said.

Particularly, the company addressed both of those issues for TP3 partners by opening up the channel and strengthening its rules of engagement (ROE), which give solution providers price protection to ensure they are competitive in every bid.

"Opening up the channel was a good step for them," said Paul Zoz, president of Bizco, a Lincoln, Neb.-based solution provider. "Now I don't have to go through a lengthy process with Panasonic every time I have a one-off business opportunity."

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