Centari moves to multi-vendor model

Centari moves to multi-vendor model

Centari Systems, one of Hewlett-Packard's most loyal and successful resellers, is expanding the base of vendors it offers product for.

In what is hinted to be the first of many announcements, Centari Systems, which currently bases 85 per cent of its business on HP solutions, will now be adding Fuji Xerox product to the range of printers it sells.

Jon Johnston, Centari's managing director, said the decision to reduce the company's exposure to selling HP-only solutions was basically risk mitigation for its expanding operations. He was also full of praise for the Xerox product range and said it is important to offer customers alternatives.

"Centari Systems has grown to a level where we are too dependent on one brand," Johnston said. "If you look at the company from an investment banker's point of view, it would be valued downwards because of our exposure to the one vendor.

"As we expand into the high end of the corporate market, we also limit our access to some customers if we only offer one brand of products. We needed to add new vendors to attain the company's growth targets."

Lindsay Lyon, corporate reseller sales manager at HP, said that the single-vendor model has worked well for resellers in the "mid-market" but when they get bigger and start chasing the likes of top-200 accounts, they need to offer multiple products to their customers.

"We are not disappointed," Lyon said. "Our experience in Europe and the US is that when these resellers expand to this level, their volume of HP business expands along with them.

"Centari is a very important reseller to us and we will continue to support it just as strongly as we have in the past."

Johnston confirmed there are other vendors Centari is finalising supply arrangements with and that this has nothing to do with any disharmony within HP.

"One-vendor distribution models can be very successful, but only up until a certain size of your operation and a certain size of customer that you are catering to. We have grown to, and want to continue growing past, that point," Johnston said.

He said HP has a great range of products and is an excellent company to deal with, but some customers want more than what they have to offer.

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