Storage vendor Tandberg Data has signed a high-level distribution agreement with Quantum that will effectively see all standalone Quantum DLT and Super DLT drives sold in Australia branded as Tandberg.
The move sent shock waves through the vendor's channel last week after Tandberg appointed ACA Pacific and Lan 1, ending Datastor New Zealand's reign as the vendor's exclusive distributor in the region.
It is less than 12 months since Tandberg Data came under fire from angry distributors after retrenching its Pacific Rim sales director, closing its local office and appointing Datastor NZ. The storage manufacturer has now also re-appointed Peridata and TData as additional distributors. At the time, Peridata, TData and Digital Tape Solutions were forced to sub-distribute Tandberg drives through Datastor NZ, an option they were reluctant to accept.
The latest move follows Quantum's retreat to the Americas, the only region in which it will continue to govern the distribution of its branded standalone drives and media. For Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Tandberg has the distribution rights.
Graham Penn, director of storage research at IDC, said Quantum's decision was made to reduce the cost structure of its international business.
However, the move has been met with confusion and discontent from local players, a situation that Tandberg's Australia and New Zealand sales director, Tan Khiang, hopes to rectify on his visit to Australia this week.
Khiang told ARN the vendor has had to "re-arrange its channels" since signing the agreement with Quantum, which gives it the right to distribute Quantum's media, DLT and S-DLT drives.
Penn said the move won't impact on Quantum's Australian channel as much as sources in contact with ARN have suggested, mainly because media makes up the bulk of any tape drive sale and there are four DTL-compatible media manufacturers for distributors to choose from.
"There is enough choice for distributors [of 8mm drives and media] in the market, but some might have to change horse," said Penn. "In any rationalisation, there are some casualties."
Vic Dickerson, managing director of Datastor NZ, whose distribution contract with Tandberg expired without renewal on October 31, was unavailable for comment at press time.