After months of delay, Sun has announced that Tplc, Clarity, and InTechnology will be accredited as its channel development providers in the UK.
Tplc and InTechnology worked with Sun in the UK as general distributor and storage specialist, respectively. Clarity is a new addition to Sun's channel, and will be vying with Tplc as a general hardware and software provider.
John Unsworth, managing director of Clarity, said: "For the first time, real competition exists in the channel. Resellers now have a 'choice' and need to align themselves with whichever certified development partner [CDP] will bring them the most value."
David Goldsworth, director at reseller Eseda, said Sun's restructuring had made the channel business-oriented rather than supply-oriented. "It's turned the supply channel on its head. Both firms were offering us business solutions. You didn't get that before."
Unsworth added that as part of the value-added distributor programme designed by Sun, resellers must align themselves with one distributor or CDP.
However, Chris Sarfas, channel development manager at Sun, said that while resellers were to nominate a preferred partner, "there will be no lock-ins, because that's illegal. We can't dictate to any partner who they work with."
Gordon Shortreed, Sun's account manager at Tplc, said resellers would be expected to stick with their preferred CDP for at least six months, because the margins that CDPs received from Sun would depend on the resellers they were working with.
Although the announcement itself holds little in the way of surprises, it puts an end to speculation about potential new players in Sun's channel.
Shortreed added: "We're just glad that the deed is done and that the waiting is over. Now we're just keen to crack on."
First published in Computer Reseller News
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