Spurred by numerous phone calls from concerned resellers, Kingston Technology has moved to ease the concerns about product availability that have followed the closure of distributor Australasian Memory (AM).
While Australasian Memory may have been Kingston's original and at one time only distributor, the general manager of Kingston's networking business unit, Ron Seide, says the addition of Simms International and Tech Pacific last year should still leave resellers with sufficient choice. "Between those two parties I think that makes for a pretty solid availability statement for the reseller," said Seide.
"We did experience a slight fall-off when Australasian went away, and that I think was just a result of the reseller community not knowing exactly where to source product," said Sidey. "Hopefully over time that will correct itself."
At the time of AM's closure, part of the blame for its poor showing was attributed to Kingston's removal of its exclusivity. But Seide says such practice is common with Kingston distributors once they have achieved a footing. He added though that AM's performance was not necessarily satisfactory.
"Our original strategy in Australia was a single distributor, and that was Australasian Memory. What we did was put together some sort of targets for Australasian and quite frankly they weren't successful in reaching those, and even further still they weren't successful in keeping their company in business." Seide said Kingston is unlikely to make many further changes to its Australian distribution model. "I think what we want to do now is just see how this model works for the time being."
Kingston's storage products are also available through Agate Technology, said storage products division manager Deborah Hartson. Hartson said Kingston will soon release a new nine bay RAID chassis, as well as a nine bay JBPD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) and new removable products.
As for its networking product set, Seide said resellers can expect to see a steady expansion in Kingston's offerings, based around the notion of providing products in the commodity marketplace. "In a lot of respects networking adaptors and unmanaged hubs are commodities," he said. "Over time that commodity profile begins to extend itself inwards from the edge of the network, and so as products become more standardised and commoditised we at Kingston start to go into those areas specifically."
Seide said 100Mbit/sec adaptors and hubs are now part of our product range, while new stackable hubs will be released in three weeks. He expects that Kingston that will eventually release managed hubs and switches as well.
As for persuading resellers to sell Kingston products, Seide says the 70 point margins that can be made when selling against better known competitors is an attraction. He feels that the brand awareness Kingston has built up in its memory business should work in favour of the networking products.