Express Data (ED) has strengthened its ties to Acer through a new server and storage distribution deal.
The arrangement builds on the relationship the two companies established two years ago through the distributor's online division, Express Online.
Express Online will continue to stock Acer's fast moving products, such as LCD screens and notebooks, while ED will use its capabilities as a value-added distributor to move its high-end storage and server range.
Express Data marketing manager, Peter Masters, said Acer's growing credibility as a brand was a major motivator behind extending the relationship.
"Express Online has had a lot of success with Acer and found that as a brand, it is increasing in stature and most importantly, market share," he said.
"Their server and storage range is also growing at 100 per cent year-on-year and that is the kind of growth you just can't ignore."
The new range would work alongside its current IBM offering to help ED's integrators better target the lucrative top 200 corporate space, Masters said.
"Express Online has led with these products for some time so it is a natural for ED to look at the higher end of the offering and for Express Online to do the lower end," he said.
Acer's business model, which offered the ability to customise product online, was also attractive, Masters said.
"What we like particularly is that Acer wants to explore new ways of doing business, particularly e-business," he said. "That's exciting to us as the market is quite dynamic."
Under the deal, Acer's AcerLink e-commerce system would be combined with ED's own e-commerce website, Masters said.
For Acer, strengthening ties with ED was all about picking up value-added suppliers for its storage and server range, its national channel sales manager, Greg Mikaelian, said.
"Our current distributors are pretty much broad-based and do not necessarily have the target customers or in-house skill sets that a distributor with the calibre of ED has," he said.
"ED has the sales resources that can help train resellers on configuring this range of products and will be available to work with their customers to customise solutions online."
Acer would look to grow its relationship with ED in an attempt to muscle in on traditional IBM and HP strongholds, but was also exploring the possibilities of picking up further niche distributors to complement its new strategy, Mikaelian said. n