Sky's the limit for VARs, Hall-Mark says

Sky's the limit for VARs, Hall-Mark says

Intent on quashing speculation in the channel, Avnet Computer's new Australian chief executive Ian Ramsay gave his first interview to Australian Reseller News ahead of scheduled announcements by the multi-billion dollar distributor about the future of its Australian operation.

Two years ago, Ramsay, a former Digital account manager, set up a private computer reseller in Australia and traded as Avnet Computer. This was achieved under the tutelage of Avnet Computer in the US, part of Avnet's Computer Marketing Group (CMG). That business is in the process of being acquired by Avnet Computer.

The other part of Avnet's CMG in the US is distributor Hall-Mark Computer Products (H-MCP). Hall-Mark is now setting its sights on the Australian IT channel starting with the distribution of Digital products.

And while Hall-Mark continues to negotiate other local distribution agreements in preparation for a July 1 quarter opening, the distributor could bring its current list of US partners, including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Compaq, Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, Cabletron and Genicom, down under.

Using Avnet's CMG business model, Avnet Computer and H-MCP will share infrastructure locally with a view to branching out into different parts of the IT market.

Subject to meeting statutory requirements, H-MCP will operate from Avnet Computer's established office in the Sydney suburb of Lane Cove.

Ian Ramsay has already been appointed country manager, Australia and New Zealand, for both entities along with a number of sales managers.

Twelve new sales and technical support staff will be hired to work under Avnet CMG's global technical and sales support banner. This is said to include $100 million in inventory as well as 100 product-specialist TECenter engineers operating with a multi-million dollar SCOPUS knowledge base.

Ramsay revealed to ARN that Avnet Computer's current Australian revenue (of around $15 million) would continue to grow steadily. However, H-MCP will be looking to double that in its first year of trading and break even. "It will be incremental business based on our model of value-added distribution," Ramsay claimed.

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