Veritas considering NZ distie cull

The Australian office of storage software company Veritas is reviewing the New Zealand channel, less than a month after the vendor reappointed Datastor as its third distributor.

Sources have told New Zealand Reseller News that Veritas wrote to all three of its local distributors mid-March, asking them to outline their business. They had about a week to respond, and were told to expect a visit this week from Veritas’ channel head, Bruce Lakin.

Reseller News has been told the visit and letter are part of a review of Australia and New Zealand channels.

Tech Pacific and Express Data said they replied to the letter but had not had Lakin’s proposed visit confirmed.

Datastor, which, after 10 years as distributor, was replaced by Express Data at the end of 2002, is not aware of the letter or planned sortie.

“I guess we didn’t have to [respond] because we had already done it,” managing director, Vic Dickerson, said in response to his company’s re-appointment last month.

Datastor continued as a sub-distributor when it was dropped in 2002, as reported in Reseller News on February 20. However, the channel is coy about a possible shake-up.

“[Lakin] has been having a look at the business,” Tech Pacific sales and marketing director for New Zealand, Vivienne Larsen said. “They’ve got some initiatives and they’re looking at how they’re going to go market with those; part of that is distribution models.

“They have asked us to describe our business.”

Express Data sales manager, Paul Plester, did not wish to give any details except to say his company had presented its case to Veritas and the vendor had not confirmed the date of its visit.

Datastor’s Dickerson said he questioned the number of distributors in New Zealand.

“Three distributors for a country the size of Melbourne — I guess you’ve got something there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tech Pacific New Zealand managing director, Tony Butler, said reviews of his business by suppliers were normal, with up to 20 vendors per quarter conducting one.

Neither Lakin nor Veritas’ national partner manager, Frank Zanotto, returned Reseller News' calls at the time of going to press.