Ingram Micro has been added to the local Cisco distribution mix alongside Express Data and LAN Systems.
Effective immediately, Ingram has been charged with rebuilding SMB market share and building the Cisco brand in regional Australia. The networking giant is believed to be concerned that it has lost ground in this competitive market segment to rivals like Netgear and D-Link.
The Ingram announcement comes just 18 months after Cisco dropped Tech Pacific in a distribution restructure. It is a major feather in the cap for Ingram managing director, Kerry Baillie, who was at the Tech Pac helm when it was dropped following a high profile review.
"It was the most embarrassing loss during my time at Tech Pac because it is such an important brand," Baillie said.
"But Cisco has changed its strategy to introduce a greater emphasis on the SMB market and that makes us more relevant than previously. It will use our breadth to gain access to SMB."
While the news will send shockwaves through the ranks at Express Data and LAN Systems, Baillie insisted there would be room for all three to operate. "We intend to concentrate on the SMB products this year while Express Data and LAN Systems continue with the tier one market," he said. "We won't be addressing that space so it should be a complementary appointment."
The news could also be a worry for networking vendors such as D-Link and Netgear, which have leveraged Ingram, and previously Tech Pac, to eat away at Cisco's market lead.
Netgear managing director, Ian McLean, said Ingram had contacted him to explain the situation and he remained upbeat.
"I think it makes sense for both parties because I thought Cisco made a mistake when they decided to drop Tech Pac," he said.
"But SMB to Cisco is a different measurement to SMB for Netgear and this will open up the 100- to 500-seat market for us in a big way. We will be looking to leverage this to position Netgear products."