Broadline distributor Ingram Micro has split its Networking Products Division in two, to improve the support it offers to its expanding group of networking Var partners.
The company set up the business unit in October 2000 and many in-country teams have posted double-digit growth in sales of its multi-vendor equipment.
Ingram is now moving the business unit to its next phase by dividing it into two distinct divisions in an attempt to provide appropriate partner support.
The Access Networking Group will support the SME space with a focus on connectivity, remote access and communication devices. The Enterprise Networking Group will address medium to large businesses such as ISPs and telcos.
The split was seen as a vital move now that the division has a diverse list of vendor partners including Hewlett Packard, 3Com, AVM, APC, Novell and D-Link.
According to Michael Kaack, general manager of networking services Europe at Ingram, the move is an important next step to provide Vars with a better service.
"Each group focuses on a different market and customer segment, and consists of highly skilled professionals with expertise in certain markets," Kaack said.
Eddy Alejos, technical director at reseller Dynax, said he would have to wait to see if this development was good for resellers.
"It will be OK as long as we do not get bounced from desk to desk when we buy more than one product. A big problem with some distributors is they pass you to different desks for different products and you end up with two orders instead of one."
Ingram said the Enterprise Networking Group will initially focus on the high-end Cisco product offering, following last month's announcement that the distributor has been named a Cisco Distribution Partner (CDP).
Becoming a CDP means Ingram is one of only four distributors in the UK with a direct buying relationship with Cisco, and as a result its customer base now includes Cisco Authorised Distributors.
Alejos said this move did not surprise him. "Cisco were selling through Ingram about three years ago, and it was a serious blow when they lost the business. Now they have to make a good job of it."
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