3Com master of its own chain

3Com master of its own chain

3Com has revealed to ARN that Ingram Micro is its third master distributor in Australia, completing the vendor's vision for a master distribution model.

Ingram Micro joins 3Com's other two master distributors, Tech Pacific and LAN Systems. Although 3Com still has other distributors, only its master distributors will have access to the vendor's entire product range.

Archie Wilson, managing director, 3Com Australia and New Zealand, said the master distributors will be used to focus on the need for quick time to market and broad coverage as the company moves into new product areas.

Ingram Micro has not previously been a 3Com distributor in Australia; however, it is 3Com's biggest distributor worldwide, with the two companies having a particularly strong relationship in the US and Europe. "From our perspective it makes absolute sense here in Australia," Wilson said.

"What we need, particularly as our business is growing, are master distributors that are able to support major pushes into some new market segments for us."

He used the examples of its LAN telephony products and its new wireless products, which Wilson believes will be very strong in the SME and education sectors. "Servicing those markets requires distributors with a very good reach into the marketplace."

Michael Shea, Ingram Micro's local managing director, said that from an efficiency point of view his company could learn from what Ingram Micro has done with 3Com in Europe and the US "so we can streamline the 3Com and Ingram business, which hopefully will make us more efficient".

Asked by ARN how he saw Ingram Micro fitting in with 3Com's existing master distributors, Shea said he believed that resellers would be the big winners in this announcement. "What we're in business for is to service the reseller, not to appease each other."

Ingram Micro will have 3Com product available for resellers from March 27. Shea said Ingram had been busy training its team internally, and has plans to appoint an engineer in each of Melbourne and Sydney as a value-add for resellers who need assistance in the rollout of 3Com product to their own customers.

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