IBM will distribute its network computers (NCs) through Ingram Micro, Northamber and possibly Azlan, leaving CHS and Frontline out in the cold when the product launches in March.
IBM wants one PC specialist and one broadliner, but could also sign a deal with Azlan in the next few weeks.
Steve Voller, channel sales manager for IBM UK, said the decision to go with Ingram and Northamber had been made in the past two weeks. ?I don?t want to discuss the reasons for selecting Ingram over Frontline or CHS,? he said.
CHS director of vendor management and marketing Jan Lawford was unaware a decision had been made. ?We have been in discussions with IBM on the NC and were expecting to find out at a distributor presentation today [Monday],? she said.
Hugh Baker-Smith, general manager of PCs and PC components at Frontline, denied the firm had held any NC talks with IBM. ?I think the combination of Ingram and Northamber is strange because of customer overlap,? he said. ?But our shares won?t plummet because we didn?t get the NC.?
Bruce Richardson, Ingram?s business development man-ager, was unaware it had been chosen. ?We have a strong relationship with IBM and, unlike CHS and Frontline, carry a lot of RS/6000s,? he said.
A deal has not yet been agreed with Azlan and Voller doubted such a commodity product would be suited to the distributor. But a source at Azlan disagreed and said that the services and training that went with the NC would more than make up for its commodity nature.
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