Cisco Channel Distribution Partner Comstor has signed a distribution agreement with rival networking vendor Expand Networks and said more deals are on the way.
"We are looking to diversify our portfolio which will involve more non-Cisco products, but only in areas that Cisco does not cover," said Paul Cunningham, marketing director at Comstor.
He said Cisco can lag behind smaller, more agile firms in getting into niche markets, but in the long term, it can get into them by acquisition or R&D.
Cunningham added that the return on investment proposition provided by Expand's products was a key factor in Comstor's decision to sign Expand.
"The product offers businesses improved bandwidth performance with the existing network," he said.
Mark O'Hara, director at reseller Hydra, which buys product from Comstor, said: "Cisco has commoditised its own market. It's almost impossible to make money selling Cisco unless you're a Gold Partner. Money is made in the performance-enhancing products, and not the routers and switches these days."
Nick Watson, head of unified channels at Cisco UK, said the vendor might bring its own competitive acceleration product out in the future. "From time to time there will be niche areas where we do not have a product and we recognise Comstor's need to address this," he said.
Expand's complete range of network accelerator products and services will now be available via the distributor.
Scott Dobson, sales director EMEA at Expand, said the deal will give the firm access to Cisco business partners. "We have not been able to penetrate these large VARs and system integrators in the past," he said.
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