Farnell element14 is rolling out a Strategic Alliance programme to bind closer ties with customers.
“We will demonstrate that Farnell element14 is not just an evaluation board and component supplier,” says Richard Curtin, Global Director of Strategic Alliance at Premier Farnell.
The distributor is pulling together resources obtained through acquisition and agreements into a coherent offering which will give engineers a full service supporting their development projects from design to production.
The foundations for the strategy have been laid down through the acquisitions of Cadsoft with its pcb design software, and more recently Embest and the CooCox ARM Cortex development tools which are proprietary to Farnell element14. Added ingredients are access to Micrium’s embedded software products and Segger’s debugging tools. In addition Farnell element14 is forging closer ties with its suppliers.
“We want to be more of a technology support distributor,” explains Curtin. “A year ago we could meet a supplier and the conversation would be about new product introductions and how many components we hoped to sell. Now we talk to our suppliers’ product development teams and we work with them to add value through new product offerings and produce evaluation kits to support customers in a variety of applications.”
This strategy has already seen Farnell element14 launch the RIoT (Revolutionising the Internet of Things) board in collaboration with Freescale, a development platform designed to run Android operating systems. The board was designed and built by Farnell element14 in conjunction with Freescale. “We’ve sold thousands in the first few weeks since launch,” says Curtin. And at embedded world 2014 the distributor unveiled Atmel’s SAMA5D3 Xplained evaluation kit based on the ARM Cortex-A5 processor-based MPU. Future collaborative efforts will also encompass RF and wireless technology as well as Cypress Semiconductors Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) family and Wolfson Microelectronics codec products.
A number of avenues to technical support have been opened to engineers. Local technical teams will answer more basic questions. Global technical support can take on more in-depth questions via direct conversations or online. They can also access Farnell element14’s Knode to gather a broad range of technical information supporting the concept to production path.

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