Seagate Technology and Ingram Micro last week announced the Australian version of their worldwide partnership in which Ingram will distribute Seagate's entire range of hard disk drives and storage products.
Don Kennedy, Seagate vice president Asia-Pacific, sales and marketing, said the relationship will consolidate Seagate's position in Australia. "We will bring a broad product line to Ingram and it will help Seagate expand its business in the region," he said.
An extension of the partnership in the United States, Ingram comes on board as what Kennedy describes as Seagate's national distributor, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Ingram also proved attractive to the manufacturer because of its "loyal base of customers", Kennedy said.
The alliance will focus on "systems integrators, VARs, small OEMs and work on Ingram's own white boxes," said Kennedy, with the ultimate goal an effective time to market in volume strategy. "Ingram's grasp of logistics and management skills will help achieve this goal," said Kennedy.
However, Seagate's strategy might perplex some of its existing distributors, including Agate, Cosmotech, Achiever and Synnex, who also sell disk and tape drives. "Ingram is the fifth distributor on our disk drive line because Seagate believes in multiple distributors. We like our partners to compete with the competition, not each other, so we have strategies to minimise the conflict between our distributors like bundling programs and products that target specific markets and customers," Kennedy added.
Michael Shea, Ingram managing director, believes the alliance was customer-driven and that the market is big enough for all the various players. "There was something missing from our solutions because customers kept asking us for Seagate products. We are currently distributors of Quantum disk drives but were only reaching a small percentage of our customer base. The relationship with Seagate, who offers the broadest range of products in the world, will enable us to expand our offerings to more complete solutions and to more customers," said Shea.
Seagate and Ingram will target both the low- and high-end markets, according to Kennedy, with the recently released U4 products designed for "the sub-$1000 market" and its fibre channel and Cheetah offerings for the high end of the market.