As reported in "Stay Tuned" (see ARN October 1, page 3) MUA has made a breakaway from its original distribution roots with the announcement that it will now distribute IBM's RS/6000 servers through its national band of resellers.
Already known for its prowess in distributing Unix-based SCO software solutions, MUA expects to bring in a ball-park figure of $5 million in sales of the high-end servers to resellers, according to Paul McQuarrie, MUA's managing director.
McQuarrie said the distribution arrangement with MUA will not have any impact on IBM's existing band of Accredited Business Partners who will continue to buy RS/6000 servers directly from IBM. But he added that a growing number of smaller resellers are looking to organisations such as MUA to provide pre- and post-sales support to complement their direct buying arrangements with IBM.
"Pre- and post-sales support is a difficult area for resellers to cater for by themselves so they are increasingly looking for partners to provide the hand-holding that comes with sales, configuration and product installation," said McQuarrie.
While RS/6000 distribution represents a shift away from its core competencies, McQuarrie said limited training from IBM would be needed because MUA would benefit from its experience in the Unix market.
MUA will supply the entire RS/6000 range including the 64-bit RS/6000 S70 and AIX4.3.
According to IBM's RS/6000 Division manager, Margaret Donnellan, MUA will service small independent software vendors (ISVs) who are not fully accred-ited IBM Solution Providers, yet who still want to be able to buy the RS/6000 platform.