Three former Crane executives, including founder David George, have reunited to launch a distributor that will aggressively target "disenfranchised" comms resellers.
Pragma Distribution is set to begin trading next month after signing its first vendor in the shape of IP PBX outfit LG-Ericsson.
George founded Crane in 1990 and had built the Avaya distributor into a £70m outfit by the time of its sale to Westcon in 2007. He and Pragma co-founders Tim Brooks and Will Morey – who were both managing directors at Crane – harbour similar ambitions this time around.
Pragma managing director Brooks said the recent wave of consolidation that has swept through the market created a gap for a new contender to take on the likes of Nimans, Westcon, Avnet and Tech Data.
"We were talking about the industry and it was our observation that there was an opportunity in the market for a new distribution business," he told ChannelWeb.
"We have a number of very large corporate distribution organisations serving the reseller market and we believe many resellers are not getting the focus, attention and personal support they deserve."
Further vendor signings will be made to complement initial signing LG-Ericsson, which offers IP PBX and unified communications solutions scaling from five to 1,200 ports.
"We do not think LG-Ericsson is considered as it should be in the UK market," said Brooks.
Pragma will have about 10 staff in place when it begins trading at the beginning to the middle of next month.
George, who is Pragma's chairman, said the Burgess Hill-based firm harbours ambitious growth plans.
"We are very, very aggressive," he said. "We want to grow a major distribution business in the same way we did with Crane."
Jeremy Butt, executive vice president of EMEA at Westcon, said he welcomed the launch of any new distributor, "as long as it acts with integrity".
"I have no problem with new competition in the market, so bring it on," he said.
"But at this moment in time your proposition has to be even more robust than five years ago. The market is pretty well served by existing vendors and distributors so anyone coming into this market has got their work cut out."
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