Paul Wilcox, director – Oceania for Wyse, said the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 was instrumental in taking on another distributor to facilitate Wyse growth. Past Microsoft server releases had offered only “rudimentary” support for Wyse product.
“But this new release [Windows Server 2003] is exceptional. And I normally don't say that about Microsoft, it's something I resist,” Wilcox said.
Windows Server 2003 would help Wyse take a slice of the SMB pie in Australia, with thin clients proving cheaper for small companies in remote locations than increasing bandwidth. As a result, Wyse sales are growing faster in Australia than in other regions, he claimed.
“Previously, we focused on medium to larger companies but we can now drive into the smaller business space. This server means you don't need additional software to implement thin clients properly,” Wilcox said.
Fiona Campbell, account manager for Wyse in Australia, said Wyse's Australian revenue and shipments have grown 250 per cent over the past 18 months. The company has doubled its Australia-based staff numbers to six but plans to keep on growing by harnessing ED.
“ED has expertise in server-based computing, they're quite a strong Citrix partner and have sold other computing products [previously],” Campbell said. “This is going to enable us to work closer with the channel to assist our customers.”
Greg O'Loan, channel marketing manager at ED, said the distributor surveyed its 6000-reseller client base last year. Some 18 per cent of respondents asked for access to Wyse thin client products.
“We already distribute for Citrix and Microsoft – two very successful partnerships – this will give our customers the opportunity to buy all three,” O'Loan said. “You can buy the Microsoft OS, add on the Citrix solution, and use the Wyse platform.”
Wyse-commissioned IDC research on server-based computing suggests Wyse's global market share was 41.7 percent in 2002, up from 2001's 38.1 percent. Runner-up Neoware came in at 17.4 per cent last year and HP at 11.0 per cent.
O'Loan said Citrix figures show the server-based computing market in Australia has grown 20 per cent over the last year.
“ED is pretty happy with the server-based computing market. We are seeing growth, there are strong vendors and customers are reacting well,” he said.
Wilcox said Wyse strategy was to use its Citrix and Microsoft partnerships, Rapport management software and Expedian software to consolidate the company's hold on server-based computing. “This is not simply a partnership of convenience ... Express Data fits really well with that broader strategy,” Wilcox said.
O'Loan said ED was seeking to take on other vendors, but no agreements had yet been finalised. He hinted at ED's strategy, saying the channel is increasingly about specialisation, targeting and training the right resellers for each segment of the market. “We are putting a lot more into education and training in conjunction with our vendors, right through to certification. Partner programs are becoming stronger and stronger.”