Power protection vendor, Emerson Network Power, has ended an 18-month Ingram Micro partnership and signed a master distribution agreement with LAN Systems. The move is part of plans to shift its focus onto higher-end offerings and boost brand recognition.
Emerson marketing manager, Peter Spiteri, said LAN would deliver its products as part of a total systems sale. He said Ingram's "supermarket" style had taken the focus off a network solutions approach.
"If you have brand recognition and customer demand, then Ingram is the place to be," Spiteri said. "But our products don't have enough recognition in the SMB space for us to efficiently operate in that model."
LAN's strong focus on channel education and certification, along with its commitment to a smaller stable of vendors, would allow Emerson to develop joint demand generation initiatives and stronger training options, Spiteri said.
It would also assist with shifting focus onto mission critical products like its GTX double conversion range. These were now becoming more applicable to SMBs because of the demands of data and voice convergence, he said.
"With Ingram, we sold a lot of lower range products because of the price point and a lack of education around the benefits of double conversion," Spiteri said. "With LAN we will be pushing our top product range."
Another determining factor was LAN's strong relationship with Cisco Systems, a key Emerson business partner, he said.
LAN Systems general manager, Wendy O'Keeffe, said the distributor had not previously had power protection in its portfolio.
"Emerson is a huge business - much more than just UPS," she said. "It's an area they needed to develop. It's the second time they have come to us, and we decided that it would suit our business.
"There are a lot of our customers who are specialists in vertical markets, such as data centres, who will benefit from us forging this relationship."
LAN was looking to bring Emerson and Cisco product bundles, which had been developed and tested in the US, into Australia. They would include racking from a third-party vendor, she said. The company would also put together extensive marketing and training information for partners.
The new distribution appointment would also be followed up with a restructured partner program next quarter.
In other news, Emerson has appointed former Ingram Micro product manager, Steven Lovelace, to the newly created position of channels manager. His initial focus would be to help LAN Systems get up to speed on the vendor's product range and technical training, Spiteri said.
Emerson has also hired a new distribution manager to replace former employee, Bart Mascorella, who left the company before Christmas. The new manager, whose name has not yet been disclosed, starts on March 20.