HP initiates distributor review

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HP has kicked off a review of its Australian distribution channel and is asking its existing distribution partners to present their business cases to a committee in early July.

This is the first formal distributor review the company has undertaken since the merger with Compaq and it would be completed by November, HP said.

HP's existing distribution channel is made up of Tech Pacific, Ingram Micro, Dicker Data, Digiland, Synnex, Exeed, Brightpoint and Alstom IT.

Alstom was earlier this month instated as a master distributor of HP's OpenView software.

Alstom claimed OpenView sales have increased by around 20 percent in the last three months.

Sources in the channel believed that HP Australia will end up with around three distributors for its PC channel after the review.

A HP statement said the review would include both current and potential new distributors. “Distributors will be measured on the same criteria including their ability to grow new markets and their coverage of these markets. No further details in relation to distributor requirements were divulged. “We will be working closely with our distributors during this time and details will not be available until the process is complete,” the company said.

Michael Bosnar, MD at HP distributor Exeed, confirmed that the company has been asked to present to HP in early July.

Ingram Micro MD Steve Rust and newly-installed Digiland MD Paul Kruss also confirmed that they are presenting their forthcoming plans for HP distribution at the same time. “We'll be presenting a view of what we can do for HP over the next 12 months,” said Ingram's Rust.

While some believe HP will end up with three distributors, Rust believes it's not that simple. While he agreed this may be the case for its PSG (personal systems group) channel, there were other factors to consider.

HP's printing and imaging division earlier this year added Synnex to its distribution books while in March, it culled its networking distribution channel to two, Ingram Micro and Tech Pacific. “They're not going to have the same three distributors for each of their groups because some of the products require specialisation,” he said. HP Australia's GM of commercial channels Tony Bill was not available for comment at press time.

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