Computer 2000 (C2000) is hoping to cash in on the convergence sector by launching a dedicated voice and data division early next year.
The move follows the ongoing integration of networking distributor Azlan into C2000's business. The new division will take a similar shape to Azlan's networking and security units.
Simon Hill, director of the Azlan networking services group and previously commercial director at C2000, said it was too early to give more details, but said the firm hopes to set up the unit by February.
"We have to be ready to capitalise on the next big thing. This was in Azlan's plans before the C2000 takeover," he said.
The C2000 and Azlan businesses will continue to run separately, but all resellers will have access to a wider range of products and services, Hill added.
Partners will have access to Azlan's core networking vendor portfolio, which includes Cisco, 3Com and Hewlett Packard, as well as its volume products from companies such as D-Link, Linksys and NetGear.
Rob Coyne, UK general manager of 3Com, said he was not surprised by the decision. "All distributors are trying to move into growth markets, and voice and data is one of these. The market is right for UK firms to adopt IP telephony," he said.
Richard Chilver, managing director UK of distributor Westcon UK, which set up a voice and data convergence division three years ago, said: "There is room for another player, but it is difficult to add a division focused on this overnight."
Keith Humphreys, analyst at EuroLAN, agreed that the market is quite open. "There is plenty of space for Azlan to come into this market," he said.
However, he warned: "It is also important Azlan retains its name as a well-respected brand."
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