Matrix Communications Group finalised its acquisition of security distributor equIP last week, and said it is gunning for Cisco.
Matrix will pay £10.5m for the distributor, on the condition that targets are met. Ian Smith, chief executive of Matrix, said equIP will be integrated under one brand within six months.
"EquIP will join our partner sales division, but there will be little change for its VARs. We have vendors knocking on our door, so VARs will be able to buy more products from a single source," he said.
Matrix, which has bought five companies in the past 12 months, operates a distribution arm, the Partner Sales group, and a reseller arm, its Integration unit.
Neil Ledger, co-founder of equIP, said maintaining the difference between the two divisions is vital. "They have separate boards, accounts and back-office systems. There is no chance of conflict as they are run totally independently," he said.
Ledger added that there will be no changes to incentive programmes or margins for VARs.
The equIP purchase will propel Matrix into the security market. Smith said this, along with its networking specialisation, will help it to put pressure on Cisco.
"We are going to be the biggest threat that Cisco has ever seen in this country, and give firms in the UK the confidence to buy technology that doesn't have a Cisco badge on it," Smith claimed.
Paul Renucci, managing director of Cisco Gold Partner Damovo, said he is impressed by the number of resources Matrix has brought on board and the way it has built up its structure.
However, he added: "Security is one of the areas where Cisco hasn't been completely dominant, but I wouldn't bet against it.
"As Matrix gets bigger and becomes more visible, people like us, who like dealing with a smaller specialist player such as equIP, might start to see the firm as more of a rival than a partner."
Cisco declined to comment.
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