Ingram considers local unbranded push

Ingram considers local unbranded push

Ingram Micro could introduce its own line of non-branded IT hardware into the local market. The broad-based distributor recently released LCD screens, TVs and digital cameras in the US on the back of European success.

Hardware category manager, Matt Sanderson, said no discussions had yet been held about a product launch in Australia.

However, Ingram would look at the Asia-Pacific region to decide if any of the products were suitable for local release.

Ingram stepped into the unbranded market with the launch of several products in Germany a few years ago. The move saw it source and sell a range of 17- and 19-inch LCD TVs and monitors as well as digital cameras.

Branded under Video 7, the products were designed on a low-cost, volume-based model, Sanderson said.

All of the products have now been made available to Ingram's subsidiaries.

Chief strategy officer at its US headquarters, Ria Carlson, stressed the non-branded initiative was not a worldwide directive.

"These products might not be acceptable in some cases," she said. "We are leaving it up to the company director as to what is best."

Sanderson said the local decision would largely depend on import costs because panel pricing was more aggressive in this region and volume shipments to Australia were low compared to some other parts of the world.

He also ruled out introducing the digital camera range because the distributor already had several vendors.

One of the biggest fears is the impact the introduction of such products would have on existing vendor relationships. Both Sanderson and Carlson said the distributor was aware of the sensitive nature of the issue.

"I can only speak from past experience in Europe, where people did have concerns initially," Sanderson said. "But it didn't detract from any on-sale of [branded] product - it actually increased our panel sales.

"The initiative is only being employed where we couldn't get in [to the OEM market] with other vendors."

Carlson said Ingram's US office was now testing the products with integrators in the whitebox space. It had not yet made any qualitative sales. She played down the size of the initiative. "We had a potential opportunity for a particular circumstance," she said. "It is very small in scope and represents a fraction of one per cent of our total sales."

Nevertheless, Ingram would consider expanding the product line-up if an opportunity arose, she said.

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