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Teq becomes exclusive Smart distributor in New York State

Teq president Chris Hickey, front, demonstrates a SMART

Teq president Chris Hickey, front, demonstrates a SMART Board with CEO Damian Scarfo on April 25, 2015, at the Huntington Station headquarters of the education technology company. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Teq, a Huntington Station-based distributor of educational technology, has landed an agreement to be the exclusive distributor of hardware and software made by Smart Technologies to schools across New York State.

The sales agreement with Canadian-based Smart, maker of interactive classroom whiteboards of the same name, is projected to increase Teq's revenue by as much as 20 percent, Teq president Chris Hickey said. The reseller of educational technology to schools is projecting $50 million in sales for the year, not including gains from the new agreement, which takes effect Oct. 1.

"We do have a business plan, but we have to hire more people," said Hickey, a former executive with CA Technologies. Teq recently reopened its upstate sales office in Cicero to increase its reach throughout the state.

Smart's software-powered boards use touch-screen technology, and newer models allow students using laptops or tablets to send information -- like answers to math questions -- directly to the front of the classroom wirelessly.

Until recently, 43-year-old Teq was one of six resellers of Smart products in the state.

As part of a strategy to get more of its products into state schools, Smart also has submitted a bid with the state's Office of General Services in hopes of negotiating a contract to be a listed vendor of classroom tech to the state. Contracts like the ones Smart is seeking set a maximum price at which products can be sold to government or municipal bodies.

Teq, which acts as both a seller and a marketing arm for the manufacturer, is also looking to partner with BOCES, an education agency that services school districts, to get more technology into more districts.

Teq hopes to discount prices to schools further. "We're looking to use the volume to drive the price down," said Damian Scarfo, chief executive of Teq and a former executive at CA. Smart's software-powered boards sell for $5,900 for older models and $6,500 for newer ones.

Teq, a privately owned company that has 153 employees, has been expanding after rebounding from a contraction that started in 2012, as schools cut back on technology purchases. The company plans to add between 25 and 30 employees in the next six months.


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