Ideal Hardware beat six other distributors, including broadliners CHS and Frontline, to win the first UK distribution deal with Zenith Data Systems.
Zenith's move into distribution coincides with a revamp of the firm's reseller programme as it is introducing tougher terms for dealers.
Under a new two-tier accreditation, only 25 dealers will gain the right to premier partner status and special marketing programmes - the remaining 250 dealers will become associate partners.
The contract marks Ideal's fourth PC franchise. According to Ideal MD James Wickes, the firm is setting up a PC division to handle the growth in PC sales, which represent more than 20 per cent of its business.
Wickes said: 'Our main business is still data storage and to ensure the sales people don't lose focus we're separating off the PC stuff.'
Ian Bennett, who looked after Ideal's NCR PC sales, will head the 15-strong unit as PC sales manager.
Zenith firmly denied speculation that NEC was considering dropping the Zenith brand. Cheryl Sabin, UK MD of ZDS, claimed the brand fitted the corporate market.
'We are not withdrawing the brand,' she said. 'We've done a lot of market research and we will continue using Zenith for the corporate market and Packard Bell for retail.
'We aren't worried about confusing the market place because any company has different product names.'
Wickes was also confident. 'The reason we wanted the Zenith brand is because it's a blue chip name which people don't really exploit,' he said.
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