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News: Distributors

Security & wireless move fulfils long-held Hammer ambition

Exertis Hammer has added the Exertis security and wireless division to its VAD portfolio as part of an ongoing strategy to broaden its product offering beyond its existing server, networking and storage solutions, in this case with solutions from brands such as SonicWALL, Kemp, ESET and Ventev.

Managing Director James Ward says that bringing the 40 sales, support and technical experts across to Exertis Hammer fulfils a long-held ambition of Hammer, which was acquired by Exertis in 2016.

He said: “Adding security was something we were planning to do long before we were acquired by Exertis, but now we can do so with the backing of a bigger organisation.”

Jason Hill, Sales Director of the security and wireless division, added: “This move will add a wide portfolio of network, cloud and cyber security solutions to the Exertis Hammer range and allow us to provide resellers and MSPs (and their customers) with pre-sales advice, installations, managed services and on-going support.”

As well as expanding its product portfolio, Exertis Hammer plans to extend its reach in Europe, where it already has offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain.

Ward said: “We will continue to increase our portfolio via distribution agreements with new vendors and we will open more Exertis Hammer offices across Europe, each with its own local feel.”

Within a few years, the bulk of Exertis Hammer revenue is expected to come from outside the UK.

Kondor helps O2 remove plastic from packaging

Exertis Group company Kondor, a distributor of consumer electronic accessories into the high street retail, online, mass merchant and B2C channels, is introducing more environmentally friendly packaging for its own-brand products and those of other vendors, notably O2.

Initiatives include reducing the size of packaging, removing single-use plastics (SUPs), using more sustainable and eco-friendly materials and encouraging recycling.

Kondor is already working with O2 to remove all SUPs from O2-branded accessories by the end of 2019. Design changes, such as replacing the plastic euro hook with a cardboard one and removing see-through plastic windows, are expected to save over 974kg of plastic in the first year alone, equivalent to the weight of 6,000 iPhone Xs.

James Murphy, Kondor Head of Marketing, said: “Creating more eco-friendly packaging is a great example of the value-added services that we can provide for our brands and one which clearly resonates with manufacturers and consumers.”

TMR targets folder-inserter market with fourth acquisition

An acquisition
An acquisition

The Mailing Room (TMR), an independent distributor of franking machines and mailroom equipment, has marked its 21st anniversary by acquiring long-standing trading partner GEM UK Mailing Solutions of Tarleton near Preston.

The Bury-based group’s fourth acquisition in recent years follows those of Franking Direct of Essex, Mailing Systems of Somerset and MailServe of Sussex.

Established in 1982, GEM specialises in automatic letter folding and inserting machines for bulk mailings; polywrap packaging equipment for magazines, newsletters and catalogues; and mailroom ancillaries like shredders, letter openers, booklet-makers and pressure-sealers for automating office chores. It supplies both public and private sector organisations across the north of England and a network of resellers.

TMR Group Managing Director Ian Davidson, erstwhile Pitney Bowes President of Mailing Solutions Europe, said: “The reasoning behind the purchase is to broaden our mailroom solution set with additional technologies and to extend our geographical reach within existing markets. We particularly want to expand our share of the developing folder-inserter sector, which is enjoying growth due to the increasing influence of GDPR, and GEM has a wealth of experience in this area.”

GEM’s senior personnel, Alex Muir and Pat Casson, have joined TMR full-time to help deliver the group’s ambitious 5-year growth programme. 0800 0192 033


QBS expands into Baltic

QBS Technology Group has acquired the entire share capital of UAB Laknova, a Lithuania-based enterprise software distributor active throughout the Baltic region, where it is the fifth largest dedicated software distributor.

It has also announced the formation of an Irish subsidiary and the opening of an office in Cork, as it continues to expand overseas.

Established in 1997, QBS Technology Group delivers software through a network of over 4,000 resellers, MSPs, system integrators and retailers. Group companies include QBS Distribution, GNR-Tech, Siener Informatique, Zedsphere and, now, UAB Laknova, which will be rebranded QBS.

CEO Dave Stevinson said: “We are pleased to extend the QBS footprint into another geography. This acquisition augments our software delivery capabilities and gives our partners expert access to a fast growing and exciting region.”

Marketing mailings made easy

SYNAXON UK has enhanced its iTrends marketing service with the iCube cloud-based email marketing system. Fully secure and GDPR-compliant, this provides Synaxon members with two automated customer email campaigns from key vendors every month, plus the ability to select additional mailers highlighting offers available exclusively through iCube.

All Synaxon members need do is log onto the site, select a campaign and hit ‘Send’. If they wish to, they can add tailored messages to campaigns, all of which are ‘top and tailed’ with their own logo and contact details.

The service costs £49 per month and includes automatic unsubscriber management.

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