Major networking vendors are continuing to support troubled in light of company's problems. distributor Azlan in the face of the Serious Fraud Organisation (SFO) investigation, despite admitting the situation has caused a 'ripple effect' throughout the channel.
The pledge to stand by Azlan follows on from a commitment made in September 1997 by IBM, 3Com, Cisco, Digital, Ascend and Bay Networks, which intended to quash fears about the distributor's financial state (PC Dealer, 17 September 1997).
Dave Moss, distribution manager at 3Com, said: 'Naturally, the accounting is a concern as is the ripple effect on the channel.' However, he added: 'This has actually put discipline on distributors that are making sure the same thing doesn't happen to them.'
David Parker, area business manager at Bay Networks, said: 'Although there was nothing to worry about, other distributors saw what happened to Azlan and double-checked back office issues.'
He added: 'After the share suspension in June, a lot of resellers began to move away from Azlan. But this allowed Bay to go in and work with the team and build up an incremental base.' Parker denied developments at Azlan would effect the channel audit Bay has recently undertaken.
However, Nick Gosshawk, marketing manager at Cabletron, and a previous employee at Digital Network Products Group, said: 'Whether or not this looks back to 1997, some of this will stick.'
Gosshawk stated: 'It throws the whole issue open again and whether all the questions were asked the first time round, it will not have a beneficial effect on Azlan.'
One industry observer questioned whether the vendors' support was down to the fact that the distributor still owed them money.
She said: 'Vendors will always stand by a company if it still owes money - they want to get it back.'
Paul Mountford, UK managing director at Cisco, said: 'This issue is over directors that are not there now, not about the company which is there now.'
Moss said: 'The most important thing for 3Com was that we knew what was going on at the early stages of the investigation and we have made sure Azlan is in line with the manufacturer.'
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