Ingram Micro's efforts to become a key distributor of multimedia components have been bolstered by two new deals with graphics card manufacturers Sapphire Technology and Asus.
The pan-European distribution deal with Sapphire is Ingram's first with an ATI-only company. At the same time it has extended its existing motherboard deal with Asus to include its full range of nVidia and ATI-based cards.
From the end of April, Ingram will be supplying the full range of Sapphire cards, including the All-in-Wonder Pro range of high-end cards with additional TV/DVD features, the main Atlantis range, which runs from entry-level to high-end cards, and the Ultimate series of customised high-performance cards.
Ingram has been very active over the past nine months, building a wide range of multimedia-oriented partners. On the graphics front, it added XFX in November and is planning a joint marketing push entitled 'Games and Gadgets' with Creative Labs. This will showcase both nVidia and ATI-based cards.
"We looked at leading ATI players over the past year and the one that it is doing best in the UK is Sapphire," said John Fitzgerald, general manager of components business at Ingram. "Sapphire was also looking for another distributor and we are offering it a pan-European playing field.
We have added an ATI card maker not just because it's important to have a foot in both camps, but because ATI is a serious player in the market.
"We have always been a strong player on the storage and CPU front but were not really active in multimedia. Since last year we have focused on building up this side of the business. The graphics card is still the most expensive part inside most PCs and there's a lot of margin in it for the reseller."
Steve Morgan, Sapphire's sales director for northern Europe, said: "We have two distribution partners in the UK now - Realtime and Ingram - that can sell into retail and the system-builder market.
"We already deal direct with larger system integrators such as Time, Mesh and Evesham but hope for more small system builder business (from this partnership)."
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