HP is getting ready to shed some of its ProCurve networking distributors as it sharpens its focus on the Australian market.
Tech Pacific, Ingram Micro, eXeed, Digiland and Express Data have previously been used in a “one-size-fits-all” model for ProCurve products, but there won’t be room for everyone in a new two-pronged approach that will see one distributor working as a value adder for high-end solutions and an as yet unspecified number fulfilling volume orders.
ProCurve’s Asia-Pacific channel manager, Yvonne Kraemer, said discussions had been held with all the distribution partners and the distributors' performance had been under close scrutiny since November.
Express Data has been singled out among the current crop as having a specialist networking focus and is being weighed up against LAN Systems for one spot at the top end of town. “These are the two distributors in the market with experience of delivering high-end solutions and one will be selected to concentrate on adding serious value to these products. LAN doesn’t have our product line at the moment but we want to find the best value partner and don’t want to leave any rock unturned,” said Kraemer.
Kraemer refused to be drawn on how many of the remaining distributors will be kept on to look after volume orders but made it clear that something has to give and heads will roll.
“We are trying to make sure that we don’t have too many distributors selling our products in Australia because this can create a lack of focus,” she said. “The partners [distributors] that are not included in the new program will have to purchase products from those we have decided to retain.”
The new ProCurve distribution model will be supported by a discount structure, that Kraemer said would reflect the level of expertise and investment required by the distributor.
The volume distributors will be expected to move product efficiently and cost effectively. There will be training available to ensure they can offer technical expertise to value added resellers. Whoever is selected as the high-end value distributor will be offered training to help staff sell those solutions.
An announcement detailing which resellers have been appointed for this program is also expected this week.
For more on this story, see this week's edition of ARN.