IBM has appointed Melbourne-based Synnex to its list of hardware distribution partners in a move designed to shore up soft spots which appeared in its channel infrastructure following the disappearance this year of Sealcorp and MUA.
Synnex Australia's managing director Frank Sheu said the availability of IBM products would be a great complement to the white box and components channels the distributor traditionally concentrates on.
"This is a great opportunity for white box resellers to get into the branded market with one of the best known names in the business," Sheu said. "Synnex has IBM alliances in other regions of the world."
Sheu said he expected Synnex's IBM-based revenue would build up as an extension of its own branded white boxes (Mitac) as opposed to a replacement.
"We sell Mitac products on a built-to-order basis whereas IBM is built to go," Sheu said. "Our experience is that the white box markets work very well in retail channels but the IBM range is much stronger in corporate reseller markets, which is where we want to grow.
"The Thinkpad unit price is still high, but the IBM range has a very low service need and IBM carry that service burden."
Initially he expects as much as 50 per cent of the business to be around Thinkpad notebooks but the distributor will also be selling the desktop and standards-based server range.
Sheu said he hoped to build the IBM business up to about $50 million per annum within two years which would then represent 15 per cent of the company's estimated turnover for that time frame.
Synnex joins Tech Pacific, IT Wholesale, and Ingram Micro as national distributors for IBM's standards-based hardware range. Sheu feels Synnex will be able to compete well against them in this market because all the other big distributors have more than one standards based hardware vendor partner.
"We will only be pushing IBM and Mitac and that means we will be able to focus on building up the IBM business," Sheu said.