Acer has made the first major change to its distribution model in four years with the appointment of Synnex.
The broad-based distributor will carry Acer PC, server and display products and target the SMB, SOHO and whitebox markets. Acer general manager of channel sales, Greg Mikaelian, said the appointment was in response to the vendor's changing market focus. The deal commences on June 2.
The partnership will see Synnex and Acer targeting customers through the vendor's B2B portal, Acer Partner E-Commerce (APeC). Mikaelian said this is the first time the vendor had collaborated with a distributor on the program.
"There are a large number of customers out there we can use customisation to tap into. We've got new products coming into the market, such as extreme gaming PCs and Synnex does a lot of component business which makes them a good fit for whitebox products," Mikaelian said.
"There's plenty of scope for growth - Synnex is willing to work on a seamless integration of our online systems with theirs. We see this frictionless distributor model as a great advantage. We've had long discussions with other distributors but made little progress on this previously."
Mikaelian would not be drawn on whether Acer planned to cut ties with any of its other distributors, Ingram Micro, Bluechip Infotech, CompuWholesale, Cellnet and Express Online.
"We keep a close eye on the distribution market and maintain open communication with distributors. We're constantly evaluating distributors and we approach partnerships with a long-term view," he said.
Synnex has also recently won a lucrative Xbox distribution arrangement away from Ingram Micro and put aside $20 million for expansion investments.
Synnex managing director, Kee Ong, said the customisation Acer could offer made it a good fit within its portfolio.
"There's no competition between our vendors products. This is the first tier-one partner we've undertaken this kind of partnership with," Ong said.
Providing end-to-end Acer solutions for partners was a key differentiator for the distributor, he said. "Vendors with offshore facilities might not have the capability to offer these kinds of solutions," he said.
Despite the introduction of another national distribution player to its stable, Bluechip Infotech operations director, Brett Bradley, anticipated it would have a minor on its Acer business.
"Generally we target different markets. There'll be some overlap but we're mainly focused on the smaller retail markets," he said.