Distributor ASM Technologies claims it can help VARs and systems integrators (SIs) trim their bloated vendor portfolios by more than 90 per cent.
The Cheshire-based firm works with more than 800 niche vendors and aims to facilitate relationships and transactions between big channel players and smaller manufacturers, leaving VARs free to focus on a core of strategic partnerships with tier-one vendors.
Director Iain Tomkinson explained that ASM operates a warehousing facility near its Winsford hub and can fulfil the role of a traditional distie, but that its value lies in allowing large VARs and smaller vendors to connect better.
"We help VARs rationalise the number of suppliers they work with and make the whole process of going to market a little bit more coherent and efficient," he said. "For an SI, a £200 widget could be just as important [to a big project] as 2,000 desktops. But salespeople do not want to spent time hunting for a widget. They want to be getting out in front of clients."
The firm works with companies including Fujitsu, Computacenter and IBM, and Tomkinson estimated that his firm could help a big SI reduce the number of vendors it works with directly from 1,500 down to "somewhere between 10 and 70". ASM specialises in working with niche providers such as Forum Systems, a security gateway vendor it took on board earlier this year.
"These smaller products can be the backbone of a project," he added. "Forum has a specialised networking product, which we have already got into about 12 large public sector deals. What we want is a portfolio of products that complements what our clients could get from broadline distribution."
ASM, which posted FY12 turnover just shy of £20m, prides itself on never selling to end users, said Tomkinson. The company believes its services are relevant to resellers from about the £25m sales mark upwards.
One recent addition to its product roster was headphone maker Sennheiser, and the company is soon bringing in a new face to head up its comms business.
"We have a hardware manager, a software manager and a spares and services manager. We have commoditised the business; most of our clients understand that," said Tomkinson (pictured). "We have just made a new appointment to head the unified comms side of the business. We are building a strong portfolio of products – what we want is a portfolio that complements what our clients could get from broadline distribution."
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