Although Microsoft's appointment of Com Tech's newly formed broadline distribution arm - Express Data - is a recent development, its roots go back several months.
"The Shein brothers approached us a while ago about their plans and talked about where they wanted to take their business, especially in terms of embracing a more time- and place-oriented distribution model," said Microsoft sales and marketing director Alan Bowman.
"We were already well acquainted with Com Tech because of their role as a major Windows NT trainer, and, really, the relationship evolved out of that," Bowman said. "After reviewing their proposal, we decided there was something to be gained by bringing them on as a distributor of our full product line."
Bowman says Express Data will begin distributing Microsoft products on Nov 1 and joins the ranks of Tech Pacific, Q*Soft, Dataflow, IT Connections and Micro SL as co-distributors. "I think we've reached full capacity for distributors," he said. "We're certainly not under-distributed, but we're not over-distributed either. We acknowledge it's a finite market and that there is a finite number of resellers, but we believe working with Express Data will grow our business in new ways."
Bowman says he expects that Express Data will make its initial inroads as a Microsoft distributor with "medium- to large-sized organisations on the networking side - and with resellers operating in that market".
What was the reaction in the Tech Pacific camp to a second broadline distributor? "TechPac is still our biggest customer, but they also understand that it's a dynamic market and that vendors are going to alter their distribution strategies to reflect what's happening in the marketplace," he said.