Prior to the ProCurve announcement, the Westcon-owned distributor was almost exclusively focused on Cisco. Jon Pritchard, general manager of Comstor Europe, told CRN that reseller demand had driven the ProCurve deal.
"More and more customers have been asking us for an alternative for their core infrastructure," he said. "Not every deal can be won with Cisco, but we have never had an alternative in our portfolio and we were losing wallet share. "
Pritchard claimed his company had talked the matter through with Cisco and that the deal would have no effect on the two firms' relationship.
"We have a fantastic relationship with Cisco and are still highly committed to them," he said. "This will not dilute our focus and it will not affect them. In an ideal world, they would not want us to be doing this but they understand why we are. This is not a replacement strategy, in fact it is the opposite."
Pritchard conceded that the smaller vendors with which Comstor enjoys less significant ties may suffer as the distributor intensifies its focus on the two networking vendors. "We will look at removing some of our smaller affinity vendors," he said. "The ProCurve line is key to us and we are looking to help those guys get into a space where they have not previously been."
Pritchard claimed Comstor spoke to a number of networking vendors before settling on ProCurve and that reaction from VARs to the new kit had been wholeheartedly positive. He stated that Comstor would be ProCurve's most technically qualified UK distributor and revealed resellers would be offered " boot camps" to help accelerate their entry into the vendor's channel.
He claimed that Cisco and ProCurve could happily co-exist in a reseller's portfolio. "The most important thing is that this was driven by our partners," he said. "It is not a result of anything Cisco has done and we have a fantastic relationship. Resellers have been asking us to carry a complementary or supplementary technology and ProCurve has a fantastic product set."
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