Distributor Alstom IT has beaten out SGIs North American distributor Ingram Micro and won the sole right to distribute the high-end hardware vendor's Windows NT and Linux workstations and servers to the Australian market.
This is the first instalment of a local channel strategy by the previously direct vendor and according to Graham Lloyd, business development manager for Alstom is the start of a new market push. "SGI has moved to the channel model in order to address a wider market than it could with their own sales force. They are fairly unique in the graphics market but are comparatively new in the broader NT and Linux space. They needed a new channel to open this up."
The immediate goal is to grow Alstom's NT and Linux business to about $1million a month said Lloyd, who claimed both SGI and Alstom had invested heavily in these spaces.
"We've put a fair effort into supporting and growing the NT and Linux space and we wanted to bring on board another major manufacturer so this seemed perfect."
The deal will also move Alstom into the previously foreign graphics territory.
Although the contract is not exclusive Lloyd said SGI has no intention of signing on any more distributor partners. This will give Alstom sole distribution rights to SGIs Windows based 320 and 540 visual work stations, SGI's Internet Server and the Advanced Cluster Environment for Linux, the Intel based SGI servers for NT or Linux, (such as the SGI 1400, and SGI 1200), and the Silicon Graphics 1600SW flat panel monitor, SGI storage management solutions and in the future a range of Intel based Linux graphical work stations.
According to Lloyd, Alstom was chosen to undertake SGIs channel initiative because of its commitment to adding value, its appropriate reseller contacts and its complimentary range of products.
"We have credit management services, pre sales technical support and quite a range of other products. What appealed to SGI was our ability to sell a total solution," said Lloyd, who believes its other server products do not compete with SGIs unique offering.
"We sell NEC, HP and Acer servers but SGI addresses a slightly different market, they're more high end, high reliability."
Lloyd predicts that within four weeks Alstom will have reduced delivery time from four weeks to two days, simply from warehousing products rather than fulfilling on an order basis.
SGI will continue to handle its Unix and other products directly, even delving into the NT and Linux market if a deal was large enough said Lloyd.