Business intelligence specialist, Seagate Software has dumped its long-standing distributors, Agate Technology and Intrepid Distribution, in favour of Tech Pacific.
Paul Jenkinson, Seagate Software's channel manager, said the company chose Tech Pacific because it needs a bulk distributor rather than a niche distributor.
"We have a vision to have Seagate business intelligence on every desktop," Jenkinson said. "Agate and Intrepid were doing a good job, but they are fairly boutique distributors and there's only so far you can go with boutique. To get where we want to go, we need a big, national distributor, like Tech Pacific. The time for niche has gone and the time for national is here."
Meanwhile, Jenkinson said Tech Pacific's close association with Microsoft fits with Seagate Software's strategy to integrate its products with Office 2000.
The decision to replace Agate and Intrepid with Tech Pacific, rather than add it as one of three distributors, was essentially a "value proposition" to attract Tech Pacific, Jenkinson said.
Hugh Evans, managing director of Agate, said that Seagate Software, represented a very small part of the business.
"It is two tenths of nothing," Evans said. "We don't even register it on our revenue statements as it represents less than $100,000 per month. It doesn't affect us at all."
Evans also opined that it was a strange decision by the vendor to discard Agate's high-value-adding niche capabilities.
"I think Seagate [Software] has got its strategy a bit wrong," he said. "They have engaged a broad-based distributor for what are essentially niche products. I would suggest that what they really need is both."
Ken Chester, sales manager for Intrepid and Aeronaut, said Intrepid had originally been set up to distribute Seagate products, but the company now has enough other distributorships to survive without Seagate on board.
"We were told about the change about two months ago, and the decision had already been made at that time. I'm disappointed they felt the need to change their distributor, but it's their decision."
Seagate Software hopes to sign up more resellers that specialise in bulk reselling, rather than value-added reselling, but will still retain its existing resellers, he added.
Chester said Intrepid Distribution's reseller arm, Aeronaut Industries, will remain a Seagate reseller.
"I believe it's a positive step for Aeronaut and I'm excited about moving forward," Chester said. "We can now focus on the direct sale side with Aeronaut, rather than the distribution through Intrepid. Aeronaut has been selling Crystal Reports [a Seagate Software product] for eight years and we have a lot of expertise in the product. This means we can focus on reselling the product, without having to import it ourselves."
Seagate Software's sister company, hardware storage specialist Seagate Technology, will retain its existing channel model, a spokesperson said.