South African networking and services company Datatec has continuednternet and commerce systems. buying into the UK distribution market with two more acquisitions, The Web Factory and Training Solutions.
The two companies are the latest in a long line of acquisitions which began with the forming of Datatec UK from Data Guardian, Volante Distribution and Inform Training in October 1996. Datatec acquired Logical Networks in August 1997, and Bluepoint in October of the same year.
The Web Factory specialises in supplying internet systems and applications and its acquisition signals Datatec's focus on offering e-commerce and internet systems to its reseller base.
John Chapman, MD of Datatec UK, said the market for distributors and resellers was changing dramatically. 'I know of one reseller's MD who turned round to his staff and told them "we are no longer a PC dealer, we are providers of thin clients and Web systems." This began about nine months ago and is now accelerating,' he said.
Chapman went on to cast doubt on competitors. 'Some distributors haven't seen this new market - their culture can't handle it. Ilion and Azlan are in areas where the margins aren't there anymore. They're there to be shot down.'
However, Adrian Botterill, new business director at Azlan, said: 'The only new thing Datatec is offering is commerce and internet systems. But there are still problems with bandwidth and general takeup. The commerce tidal wave hasn't hit yet, so time will tell.'
An analyst at Dataquest said: 'Offering commerce and internet solutions adds value to the distributor.'
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