Westcoast has plugged a hole in its PC portfolio by signing up with Siemens Nixdorf (SNI), one week after the firm parted company with Olivetti.
The distributor?s relationship with Olivetti ended last week after both parties mutually agreed to terminate the supply contract. The vendor claimed there was ?no real practical way forward?(PC Dealer, 2 April).
Sources close to Westcoast said it had had first talked to SNI over a year ago, but the distributor backed away from any supply deal because it was unhappy with SNI?s approach to the channel.
?It has turned things around and we think we can now do well with its product. But, as always, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating,? said the source.
?Siemens is very keen to talk to the channel and I think we can do a job of work for it.?
But Westcoast?s signing puts an end to Ideal Hardware?s sole supply agreement with SNI. Mark Walker, product manager at Ideal, said he did not have a problem with the signing of another distributor.
?This should help to grow the market quicker,? he said. ?It?s better to have 50 per cent of a rapidly growing market than 100 per cent of one that is moving slowly. The challenge for SNI is grow brand awareness in the UK.?
Dave Whittles, marketing manager of SNI PC Unit, described the signing of an additional distributor as a very positive move for the channel, but he refused to confirm that the company had signed a deal with Westcoast.
?The way to develop the market is through a robust indirect channel,? he said. ?There are a lot of resellers out there and we want to talk to as many as possible.?
The official release of the supply contract between SNI and Westcoast is expected to be announced this week as the manufacturer pushes more aggressively in generating sales from its channel partners.
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