EMC has become the latest vendor to recruit a second distributor in Australia in recent months.
The storage vendor announced Ingram Micro as its second local distributor last week in an effort to extend its channel reach. Ingram will sit alongside Westcon Group, and has full access to EMC’s product portfolio.
EMC general manager of commercial and channel sales, David Henderson, said it had experienced a tremendously successful relationship with Westcon, but felt the time was right to bring on a second, complementary player.
“If things [in the market] were the same, we would have continued with our solid one-distributor model,” he told ARN. EMC’s recent acquisition of consumer and SMB storage vendor and Ingram partner, Iomega, was a major catalyst for the distributor rethink, he said.
Driving virtualisation through a combined VMware and EMC infrastructure platform was another motivator.
“If we are not aligned with a distributor who distributes VMware, we have a problem,” Henderson said. “So those two elements got us thinking about change.
“We think there’s enough business for both organisations [Ingram and Westcon] to be profitable, which is why we’re making this announcement.”
Henderson flagged Ingram’s national coverage and reach into non-metro areas as a key consideration.
“Ingram brings commitment to this relationship, and deep understanding, as well as technical pre-sales capability and coverage. We are not with Ingram for time and place,” he added.
Ingram Micro vice-president A/NZ, Jay Miley, said the new relationship expanded its solutions business and gave it better access to another major technology growth area. Ingram also distributes storage products from HP and IBM. The EMC deal tied into his broader efforts to realign Ingram staff and skills with higher growth markets.
“This is about providing our resellers with choice – EMC is the leader in the storage market,” he said. “We see SAN and the broader storage space as a growth market and we want to be positioned in that market effectively.
Ingram will bring on four people in technical pre-sales, business development and business unit management to help drive the EMC business, Enterprise
Technology Group general manager, David Lenz, said. Westcon Group general manager, Wendy O’Keeffe, was disappointed by EMC’s decision but said the two continued to maintain a strong relationship.
“We have both invested in establishing and building a solid, sustainable channel which now delivers a significant portion of EMC’s revenues,” she said. “We have had a successful year with growth in excess of 60 per cent on the previous year. We were also privileged to be awarded their Asia-Pacific distribution award.
“While we are disappointed that EMC has chosen Ingram to join its distribution network, we understand the need to expand into retail and the SMB market. Plus Ingram has a significant HP channel that EMC can leverage.”
The distributor will stick with its focus and market strategy and look to grow its storage business again this year, O'Keeffe said.
EMC follows in the footsteps of Sun, who recently appointed Express Data as a second distributor after a 10-year sole distribution agreement with itX. Late last year, networking vendor, Juniper, also broadened its channel reach by signing a new relationship with Westcon Group.
Like its peers, EMC was looking to cement a stronger channel presence in the Australian market, Henderson said. It has appointed its fi rst national distributor manager, Leo Lynch, and will recruit more partner-focused staff in the coming months.
“We’re getting more IP and investing around channel,” Henderson said.
“We will build our team out under Leo as we want to build solid infrastructure for the channel.”
Lynch previously spent 19 years with HP in various channel-oriented roles across storage and consumables and set-up the vendor’s local storage practice and first distribution deal with Tech Pacific.