Distributor Clarity has confirmed that it is Sun Microsystem's latest channel development provider (CDP), despite no official word from Sun.
Simon Welch, group marketing manager at Clarity, said: "Clarity was awarded the [distribution] contract some time ago. We have been offered a CDP plus contract, subject to some contractual requirements that we feel confident we can meet."
Earlier in the year, Gordon Cameron, channel distribution manager at Sun, said its distribution model was made up of resellers and master resellers such as Sun-centric distributor TPLC. "We are outsourcing our business; they are doing business on our behalf. The only guy who benefits [from shifting boxes] is the transport company," he said.
Because of this paradigm shift, Sun's CDP contract does not specify distribution as part of its standard agreement. Distribution services, such as those TPLC has provided in the UK for over eight years, are an addendum.
Gordon Shortreed, manager of TPLC's Sun account, was not worried about Clarity's new role. "The distribution services part of the contract has separate qualifying criteria. I am fairly sure that Clarity will struggle to meet the distribution services criteria," he said. "We have set the barrier quite high. You don't just need stock, you need the infrastructure set up as well."
But Welch confirmed that Clarity had invested significant amounts of money in its infrastructure, including technical staff to help it to train end users.
"The beauty from a reseller's perspective is that they now have choice," he said. "Both TPLC and Clarity are on a level playing field. Clarity's policy is to not just be a Sun distributor but to work with best-of-breed solutions. We are talking to a number of manufacturers about bringing complementary products onto Sun hardware."
"Resellers can buy equipment from us, but we are helping to widen their role in the marketplace by working with other manufacturers. That will be a big differentiator for us," he added.
In the past, GE Access, Computacenter, Morse and Avnet have been names suggested as potential CDPs.
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