Ex-ViewSonic chief returns to the channel

SMART Technologies hires display channel expert to run regional business

Tags: United Arab EmiratesViewSonic CorporationiMark Distribution
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Ex-ViewSonic chief returns to the channel Aaron Fright is responsible for implementing SMART’s go-to-market strategy in the Middle East. (ITP Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  September 16, 2009

Former ViewSonic Middle East boss Aaron Fright has returned to the channel scene with interactive whiteboard maker SMART Technologies.

Fright, who resigned from his post at the display manufacturer back in April, is SMART’s first ever Middle East representative and will be responsible for developing the company’s operations as regional director.

The vendor had been managing the Middle East from its Canadian HQ up until Fright’s appointment, although its brand is well-established in the region due to its long-term partnership with Jebel Ali-based iMark Distribution.

Fright’s initial task will be to finalise SMART’s regional strategy and tighten up various working processes. He will also be reviewing the vendor’s channel policies.

“My priority is to ensure that we retain our leadership position, but also to make sure we build the necessary channel structures and processes that will help us improve the way we do business,” he explained. “Obviously it is important that we provide increased levels of support for our existing business partners and identify what we need to do to achieve that.”

SMART already has a solid base of Middle East partners selling its range of whiteboards, software and accessories into key vertical sectors such as education, corporate and military.

Fright admits it is likely that the vendor could introduce a partner programme to reward reseller loyalty next year, but for now his main objective is to ensure the channel business runs smoothly.

“There is a requirement to make sure we have a robust channel, both in terms of getting a good level of information flow from SMART into distribution, but also from distribution into what I would call the tier-two reseller parts of the channel,” he said.

The global whiteboard market was worth around 180,000 units during the second quarter, an improvement of 45% on the previous three months. SMART currently leads the EMEA region with a 36% market share, according to data from research firm Futuresource Consulting.

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