Cisco weighs up Ingram extension

Cisco weighs up Ingram extension

Cisco Systems may open up its full product suite to Ingram Micro, according to managing director, Ross Fowler.

The distributor has been restricted to selling SMB product since its appointment in May 2005 but has been lobbying to have access extended to corporate and enterprise kit. It had earmarked the network giant's end of financial year, which closes on July 31, as a time for reassessment.

The launch of its Solutions Division earlier this year has also seen Ingram trying to shift business up the value chain.

"We are putting our money where our mouth is and have invested heavily to bring in new people with technical backgrounds," Ingram commercial and solutions director, John Walters, said.

"All our vendors in that space have been supportive and we have heard some encouraging noises from Cisco."

Fowler said he had been in discussions with Asia-Pacific Cisco executives about the possibility of extending Ingram's product access.

"There's a bit of mechanics to it but we are seriously looking at it," he said. "This is not just paying lip service."

While admitting the result had been achieved from a low base, Ingram claims to have doubled its share of Cisco SMB business in June. Walters said it had concentrated on developing relationships with regional SMB resellers.

"There are plenty of opportunities in regional Australia as networking becomes ubiquitous," he said.

"We have been putting the building blocks in place but always said growing reseller numbers wouldn't happen overnight."

Fowler said Ingram's performance was improving every month after a slow start but suggested there was still work to be done.

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