Tplc?s position as Sun Microsystems? sole distribution partner was threatened last week after it emerged the manufacturer had held informal talks with potential players.
Speculation first surfaced last month when the manufacturer restructured its channel sales operations, putting Tplc in its applications partner group along with independent software vendors. Its absence from the corporate partners group, which includes Morse and Computacenter, raised uncertainty about its role as the sole Sun master reseller.
One source said: ?It?s common knowledge that Sun is distie-hunting.? Another said: ?Tplc does a volume fulfilment job very effectively. But there is a market growth job which Sun needs, which Tplc is not fulfilling.?
Tplc has had an exclusive contract to distribute Sun hardware since 1991. Last October, it was renewed for three years. Tplc carries about 20 per cent of Sun?s UK business, estimated to be worth about #60 million a year.
One analyst suggested that Sun was unlikely to drop the relationship with Tplc altogether, but would look for partners in the south of England. Computacenter, whose Sun business is worth #45 million, was tipped as a potential partner. A source close to Computacenter said: ?We?ve had a couple of preliminary discussions, but nothing formal.?
Datech 2000 has also been named as a possible partner. It is understood that Morse, Sun?s largest corporate reseller, was not interested as distribution would not fit its Var strategy. Another source speculated that Sun wanted the resellers in its corporate partner group to take on a more active role in distribution.
Tplc was unavailable for comment.
Pete Deane, Sun?s reseller partner development manager, said: ?Sun?s distribution model revolves around Tplc. These rumours are emphatically not true.? Deane is leaving Sun after 12 years to become MD of Sun reseller Horizon.
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