Cellnet has been given access to HP's personal systems group (PSG) products from next month.
The deal will see the Queensland-based company carry the vendor's desktops, notebooks, tablet PCs, workstations and monitors.
The announcement is a major shot in the arm for the distributor as it continues to transition its business from a model based largely on telecommunications to one more heavily weighted towards technology. Cellnet was already distributing HP handhelds.
"This expands our range, gives our existing customers more options and exposes us to resellers that have not previously been able to buy from us," Cellnet managing director, Adam Davenport, said.
"It's consistent with our strategy of representing premier IT brands. You have to think HP was a significant gap in our offering if we want to be thought of as a broad-based IT&T distributor."
Davenport said he was reluctant to finalise the agreement until Cellnet had completed the restructuring process that saw it fold IT Wholesale and Cassa back into a centralised business model.
HP attributed the decision to appoint Cellnet to a combination of SMB market expertise and strong channel relationships. Strength in the Queensland market and regional Australia had also been factors, according to Davenport.
"Many resellers are loyal to particular brands and we have customers buying some product from us but then going to Ingram Micro for HP," he said. "Now those customers no longer have to do that."
Cellnet follows the appointment of Synnex as a notebooks distributor in November.
The addition of another player is bad news for existing PSG distributors, Ingram Micro and Dicker Data, which have carried the HP and Compaq brands for a long time.
Ingram Micro managing director, Guy Freeland, said HP had informed him of the decision over a week ago, but admitted it was a surprise.
"HP and Ingram Micro have a significant trading partnership and whatever happens here we will remain friends," he said. "We have put a lot of effort into this portfolio, particularly during the past nine months, so the decision is very disappointing."
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