Q*Soft is raising its profile as a national distributor with rapid-fire openings of new outlets in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Offices in Perth and Melbourne were scheduled to open for business on May 6th and 20th respectively and Q*Soft expects to open premises near Sydney Airport in the near future, said managing director Doug Heath.
But behind the flurry of activity, Q*Soft and its new US partner Ingram Micro is adopting a softly, softly approach to a domestic market still unsettled by Merisel's disappearance. Scuttling earlier speculation that Ingram Micro would buy a slice of Q*Soft to fund aggressive market moves, Heath says Ingram will not be making an equity investment in his company.
Heath says the situation will be reviewed in November, the first anniversary of the partnership agreement, "in the light of how the Australian distribution scene has settled down in the wake of Merisel's demise," he said. "But, expanding for the sake of expansion or to fill a hole in the market is not necessarily in the best interest of either company."
According to Heath, the alliance with Ingram represents "less than one per cent" of Q*Soft's revenues despite the number of products Ingram has in its portfolio. "Both companies have a history of cautious management," he said.
Since announcing its links with Ingram and signalling its expansion plans, Heath has found "most of the major vendors keen to talk with us". He says Q*Soft is striving to avoid conflict between newly-acquired product lines and those of existing customers. The latest addition to its client list is Taiwanese manufacturer GVC, whose modems Q*Soft will distribute nationally under arrangement with importer ITnPC.