Belkin to review distribution strategy

Belkin is considering its distribution options in the wake of Ingram Micro's recent acquisition of Tech Pacific.

The networking vendor's managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Mike Bell, said the company was currently distributed exclusively through Ingram but would probably look to add another partner following the merger of Australia's largest IT wholesalers.

"The channel is the smaller part of our business, about 15 per cent, but probably the biggest growth area," Bell said. "So I'm quite interested to see what comes out of the new venture with Ingram acquiring Tech Pacific.

"That acquisition is going to be good for our growth but it is also challenging because we have some pretty specialised product areas.

They [Ingram] may not be the best vehicle to service those with.

"The decision to be made is whether we are going to expand distribution. It's likely but we are not certain at this point."

Bell, who was recently made vice-president for Asia-Pacific in addition to his existing duties, said strengthening the local Belkin management team was also a priority. This included the arrival of new product and marketing director, Kannyn Macrae, from the US office in September.

Belkin marketing manager, Daks Neech, recently left the company amid changes to the product team.

Product staff numbers have increased from three to 12 people in a drive to give more resources and support to the sales team, Bell said.

"When a business is growing at 30-40 per cent year-on-year there is always going to be a lot more people needed," he said. "The product management engine hasn't kept pace [with growth]."

Belkin said a digital shift was fuelling the booming consumer market for wireless products, uninterruptible power supplies and mobile music accessories.

It is also launching a wireless hub based on the faster Pre-N standard that has yet to be ratified, to cater for what it sees as strong consumer demand for more powerful wireless.

"The issue users have is speed and coverage," Bell said. "The 802.11n standard gives greater speed and range."