You really never know who reads your blog until you write something controversial. Yesterday I posted an article about Promethean. As their web site was down and I couldn’t get through to anybody at their distributor, Prim-Ed, as well as the fact that a company called Clarity were investing heavily in the Promethean brand, I assumed there was going to be big big news on the horizon. There is.
I received three phone calls today – one from Prim-Ed, one from Graham Byrne the new head of Promethean Ireland, (apparently appointed in early April) and one from the Marketing Executive of Promethean UK. All three had read my article.
So, here’s the official deal…
On the 2nd April 2009, Promethean appointed Graham Byrne to a newly created role as Head of Ireland. Byrne was resp0nsible for establishing partnerships with educational publishers, creating resources specifically for the Irish market and “maintaining Promethean’s relationship with its Irish channel partner, Prim-Ed.” By the 14th April, Promethean announced an internal restructure to UK and Irish business. It was unclear what this actually meant.
The first public signs of this restructure was working with the Jack & Jill Foundation where Promethean launched the first Irish specific ‘phones for boards’ campaign, http://www.phonesforboards.com. There was no mention of Prim-Ed in the advertisements.
By the end of August, things had moved rapidly and Promethean announced a €1 million investment with a new Irish Distributor called Clarity. This was the first time we realised that Prim-Ed were no longer the distributors of Promethean boards. On contacting Prim-Ed today, this was confirmed by one of their representatives.
The press release detailed all the plans of expansion within the Irish market. From talking to some of the resellers, it appears that they are still on board but I assume they will now be getting their boards from Clarity rather than Prim-Ed. Right now, there is obviously going to be a period of uncertainty for Promethean customers while this change of distribution is going ahead.
I am unsure whether Promethean’s new distribution company, Clarity, will be giving technical support to the schools who currently own Promethean Boards or whether Prim-Ed will continue to support them. I can’t see how (or why) Prim-Ed would do so – who knows? If I am correct in the assumption that Clarity will take on support for all Promethean boards sold in Ireland before August 27th 2009, I would suggest they let schools know what’s happening…and quickly.
On a personal note, I am sad that Prim-Ed are no longer distributing Promethean boards. I have always been treated with great courtesy and even when we didn’t agree on things, nothing was ever taken personally. I hope that the people in Prim-Ed find another whiteboard to distribute and I hope they choose one that I like. It would be great to finally want to buy a board from one of their salespeople!