Veritas has completed its local distribution review and will drop two of its four current partners at the end of next month.
The lengthy process, which had originally been slated for conclusion in April, will see Tech Pacific and ACA Pacific have their contracts with the storage software giant terminated. Ongoing partners Ingram Micro and Express Data will continue to offer the full range of Veritas products.
Managing director of Tech Pacific, Kerry Baillie, said the broad-based distributor had never carried any enterprise Veritas products, despite asking for access to them for two years.
Tech Pacific category manager, Lorraine Cowan, said the addition of enterprise products had been part of the distributor’s proposal.
“We understand it would have been difficult for them to appoint us as an additional partner with the [enterprise] focus they have going forward,” she said. “But we were the largest volume distributor for Veritas and it is a disappointing by-product of this decision to lose that long-term business as well.”
Express Data managing director, Ross Cochrane, said it was very hard to work from mass merchant to enterprise.
“At the enterprise end, a vendor wants more than pick, pack and ship,” he said. “Fulfilment is table stakes and you shouldn’t be in the game if you can’t do that well.
“There’s a very different model if you want to be in the business of generating growth and decisions we have seen in the market during recent times suggest that is not viewed as Tech Pac’s strength.”
Cochrane said a maturing IT market was a predominant factor in the emerging trend among vendors of reducing the number of channel partners they dealt with.
“Vendors are looking hard at their partnerships,” he said. “Fewer stronger partnerships are better than lots of smaller, less stable ones.
“This is a reflection of a market that is maturing. At one time vendors just wanted to get as much coverage as possible, but growth has slowed and the channel gone from a fulfilment role to one where it is driving demand for technology.”
Ingram Micro managing director, Steve Rust, was delighted by the announcement and said the paring down of distributor numbers would help the company treble its Veritas business.
Rust said he had been asking for access to its volume products for some time. This was finally granted in the final calendar quarter of last year.
He had also complained that four distributors was too many for the Australian market.
“They [Veritas] were over distributed,” Rust said. “Over the past year or so there had been silly discounting and the compensation to distributors wasn’t justifying the level of resources they had to put in.”
He said Ingram would add staff to cope with projected growth, particularly in software licensing. Like Cochrane, Rust had noticed a recent trend among major vendors towards more focused relationships with fewer distribution partners.
ACA Pacific was understood to have had access to the Veritas suite of enterprise products before the decision to terminate its contract was reached, but nobody at the Melbourne-based distributor was available for comment at the time of going to press.
In other news, Veritas has confirmed that its local channel manager, Bruce Lakin, has been promoted to Australian managing director after three months in an acting MD capacity.