Resellers have been urged to strengthen auto-ID skills ahead of an anticipated boom in public sector spend in this area.
According to distributor Interface Solutions, new legislation and cost-saving imperatives will prompt a slew of healthcare and education accounts to invest in the technology for the first time in 2008.
Martin Smith, who was recruited by Interface from Zebra last June to build the firm’s specialist auto-ID unit (CRN, 22 June), said: “We are looking at £5m in revenue from auto-ID this year. It is one of the fastest growing areas of our business.
“Retail and transport have always been big, but only now is the public sector switching onto it, either as a result of legislation or the savings that can be made.”
Smith said upcoming healthcare legislation around patient wristbands would fuel spend in this market. However, he asserted that many corporate resellers still lacked skills in this area.
“I am sure there is much more potential in corporate resellers. It is a relatively straightforward transition as a lot of the platforms on which mobile terminals run are Windows,” Smith said.
However, Mike Pullon, managing director of specialist distributor Varlink, claimed Interface was over-playing the market’s potential.
“Interface’s comments reflect the fact it was late to enter the market. Hospitals have been using wristband printers for years. The new legislation consolidates this practice, but it is not a new market,” he said.
“Outside of asset marking and ID cards, I would struggle to see education as a major area for auto-ID.”
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