ICL subsidiary Tplc is set to expand into continental Europe within weeks by opening its first offices abroad.
Tplc, formerly called Technology, is likely to set up its own branches rather than acquire foreign distributors, according to general manager Neil Easdon. 'We are unlikely to buy local organisations,' he said. 'The plans are in place over September and October for European satellite offices.'
A competitor said that Tplc has been forced to address the advantage held by its pan-European rivals in distribution. 'Technology will not have instant capabilities in other countries, but this is a start which they have made because European deals are becoming more common. If ICL is paying that will help them financially, although ICL already owns a German distributor (Aquarius).'
Tplc is also working on electronic commerce and trading over the Internet.
Financial director Dave Wilson has been put in charge of a secret electronic commerce project and he hopes to launch an online trading system before other wholesalers and Vars.
Wilson said: 'There are 200 or 300 developers working on solutions in this market. We are asking our customers what they want from electronic commerce and trying to fit into their business plans.'
He said pilot schemes are under way and the GCAT government catalogue deal that EDS, ICL and Tplc won earlier this year (PC Dealer, 3 April) has driven the company to develop its online infrastructure faster.
Tplc MD Marie-Anne van Ingen now reports directly to ICL managing director Keith Todd following the retirement of group executive director Ninian Eadie.
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