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Distributor Tech Data is expanding the products it offers for point-of-sale and product data capture under a newly inked deal with Intermec Technologies, a manufacturer of asset-management and data-collection solutions.

Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data Corp. launched a POS (point-of-sale) business unit two years ago, and built it up by adding POS product lines from 12 vendors, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., DigiPoS Systems Group Ltd. and 3M Touch Systems Inc. But it still needed a comprehensive offering in data capture.

Intermec Technologies Corp. not only fills that gap, it brings with it a solid reputation, according to Karl Werner, director of the Advanced Technologies Group at Tech Data. “We really needed a marquee name on the side of data capture,” he said.

Tech Data, which does not sell directly to end users, will distribute the full line of Intermec products through its POS/Data Capture Specialized Business Unit.

Intermec products include RFID (radio-frequency identification) scanners, label printers and supplies; secure networking hardware and management software; wireless handhelds, tablet PCs and printers; and data capture wands, scanners and bar-code printers.

Werner said he expects that the Intermec partnership will expand his POS business by drawing in data-capture resellers and solution providers who don’t currently do business with the distributor.

Conversely, many resellers who already buy technology from Tech Data will expand their business with the distributor as a result of this new vendor relationship, he said.

“The big draw from a Tech Data perspective, and certainly from Intermec’s perspective as well, is to bring new solutions to new resellers, and then to new end users,” Werner said.

Among those solutions is Intermec’s EasyADC, a data-capture package that can link its data with that of accounting and inventory systems to eliminate the need to key in information, Werner said. He added that he expects EasyADC to play well with SMBs (small and midsized businesses).

The SMB market, in fact, was a key reason Everett, Wash.-based Intermec decided to partner with Tech Data, according to Annie Neubrech, director of channel programs at Intermec.

The distribution agreement also provides Intermec with access to legions of Tech Data customers who provide retail solutions or Cisco connectivity solutions, both of which Intermec has targeted.

“We are aggressively going after the retail market,” Neubrech said. “We’re designing [products] with the retail market in mind. Tech Data has a large reseller base in the retail point-of-sale market.”

In addition to targeting immediate market needs, the partnership with Intermec also positions Tech Data for the expected growth in RFID, which employs tags containing a chip, antenna, and product data to transmit the information to machines that keep track of inventory.

Proponents of RFID expect the technology to eventually replace bar codes, but for now the technology is mainly applied to tracking cases and pallets.