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Dynabook Americas GM Eyes Government Business

Shane Snider

Parent company Foxconn is bringing a new production facility in Taiwan online to meet Dynabook’s need to create federally compliant machines for government work.

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James Robbins, President / General Manager at Dynabook Americas (Formerly Toshiba PC Company) (Photo via LinkedIn)

Dynabook Americas, formerly Toshiba PC Company, is making a big play to bring government contracts online for channel partners with Trade Agreements Act (TAA)-compliant products starting in October as parent company Foxconn fires up a new dedicated production facility in Taiwan.

“We have a really deep history in selling to the federal government but haven’t been in that game in about 10 years,” Dynabook Americas president and general manager James Robbins told CRN. “This is going to be a huge game changer for us to get back into that federal contract space. There’s no larger customer than the U.S. federal government.”

Robbins said he’s hoping the government contracts through channel partners will eventually account for up to 25 percent of the company’s overall revenue. Dynabook has already increased revenue by 40 percent in the last year, Robbins said. Even with impressive growth, Robbins said macroeconomic headwinds were holding back the company’s true potential. Now, parent company Foxconn, the Taiwan-based tech behemoth, is boosting Dynabook’s federal prospects by bringing on dedicated production for TAA-compliant machines. (TAA-compliant products meet production origin standards required for certain government contracts).

“The U.S. federal government will be a huge growth driver for us and our expansion into the channel,” he said. Dynabook has fared well in the education and office markets as Foxconn was able keep a steady supply of product flowing despite supply chain issues in China. “Our supply chain ability has continued to be a positive for us.”

And the steady availability will be an attractive selling point for channel partners like Sean Salins, vice president of sales and operations at Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based COLAMCO. His company uses several vendors for their government contract work, and supply constraints have been a huge issue. “Right now, it’s really hard just to get product, so any product availability is preferred,” Salins said. “Dynabook has a real opportunity here with a good product that will have good availability.”

Having that flowing source of TAA-compliant product is Robbins’ game plan to take Dynabook to the next growth level. He said he’s hoping to add to continue healthy growth without worrying about becoming another computer behemoth. “We’re not trying to be Dell, or HP or Lenovo,” he said. “We’re trying to be the best Dynabook we can be. So, we’ll focus on our culture and our customers and the outcomes. And then I think the results we’re after will get there as a result of just being great at what we’re doing.”

Robbins said the company hopes to continue to leverage the brand recognition of Toshiba, at least in the short term. “One of the great things about this job is that the product we have going out is really great,” Robbins said. “If we focus on how to get great product into the hands of users and provide great outcomes, the results will take care of themselves.”

Robbins said Dynabook has increased its channel program investment by 100 percent over the past year. “This year, I’m looking to probably add another 10 to 15 heads specifically for the channel,” he said. “We are really focusing on how we show up meaningfully in the channel. We know that in order to grow our business, we have to support and drive through the channel.”

Robbins said partners should look forward to changes coming in Dynabook’s deal registration program. “It has some room for improvement, so we’re taking a look at what others are doing in the marketplace and how we want our channel partners to drive growth and ultimately compensate them for doing the right thing.”

COLAMCO’s Salins said Dynabook’s move to enter the federal space is a wise maneuver as federal dollars continue to flow despite economic downturns.

“The government tends to put money to work to prevent economic downturn,” he said. “So the current situation has become an opportunity for reinvestment in infrastructure. The fact that Dynabook has product availability even with supply chain shortages, it makes them a natural choice. Availability is key right now.”

This story has been updated with a correction on James Robbins’s title.

Shane Snider

Shane Snider is a senior associate editor covering personal computing, mobile devices, semiconductor news, hardware reviews, breaking news and live events. Shane is a veteran journalist, having worked for newspapers in upstate New York and North Carolina. He can be reached at ssnider@thechannelcompany.com.

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