Vendor partners to proceed with caution

Vendor partners to proceed with caution

Existing Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific vendor partners will be watching carefully in coming months to ensure their distribution relationships do not suffer.

One major vendor affected significantly by the announcement will be Microsoft. Prior to the deal it maintained three OEM dist­ributors (Tech Pacific, Ingram Micro and Synnex) as well as three to address its boxed product business (Tech Pacific, Ingram Micro and Express Data).

The software giant's partner group director, Kerstin Baxter, said she would monitor the situation closely in the short term before deciding whether there was a need to add additional wholesalers to either side of its channel.

She hinted that some distributors had already called to see if the merger meant there was an opening in the Microsoft channel.

Cellnet managing director, Stephen Harrison, recently told ARN that his company had been in discussions with the software vendor.

Veritas will also be impacted by the buyout.

The storage vendor's managing director for Australia, Bruce Lakin, said it had some near-term concerns about disruption to its day-to-day business with Ingram.

"There is a danger that it will take the edge off both in servicing their vendors," he said. "They will need to be conscious of continuing to provide results."

Veritas conducted a review of its four distribution partners in July to streamline its channel.

The vendor subsequently dropped Tech Pacific and ACA Pacific while retaining Ingram Micro and Express Data.

Lakin said Tech Pacific was dropped because it had not been able to offer the higher level of product support promised by Ingram Micro.

But with the merging of the two businesses into one, Lakin said Veritas could end up with the best of both worlds.

"Re-engaging with Tech Pac as part of Ingram Micro would give us that greater coverage we once had with them," he said.

Lakin said Veritas would maintain its distribution relationship with Express Data.

"ED and Ingram offer different roads to market," he said. "ED is more of a network and software distributor, with a stronger focus on software licensing and annuity."

Computer Associates Australia channels manager, Vicky Bain, said it would also keep Express Data as a second distributor alongside Tech Pacific. The vendor dropped ACA Pacific and Ingram earlier this year.

She was not concerned the deal would have any negative effects on its relationship with Tech Pacific.

"We don't expect the distributor to do our job," Bain said.

"It is a mix of us, them and the resellers working together. If you have a solid product and the market is asking for it, you shouldn't be concerned about getting lost in the mix."

Ingram Micro boss, Steve Rust, said the distributor would be looking to address glaring omissions in its vendor line-up.

Cisco managing director, Ross Fowler, was among those who could expect to receive a call, he said.

Cisco dropped Tech Pacific from its books late last year in favour of retaining more specialist rivals Lan Systems and Express Data.

The vendor cited a need for its distributors to be more focused on overall business objectives, rather than just sales volume growth.

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