Software King of the World, Microsoft, is auditing its partners and sorting out the sheep from the goatees.
Request for proposals (RFPs) were sent out to existing and new distributors last Friday covering much of the software Microsoft puts through distribution especially its full packaged products (FPP), OEM Windows, OEM server and electronic software delivery (ESD) products.
At the moment, Vole uses Tech Data, Ingram, Westcoast, Exertis and Entatech but now it is thought that Microsoft wants its distributors to reflect its recent move into hardware and changes to its business model.
VIP and Ci Distribution have received an invite to bid which could suggest a widening of the distribution channel, or that some big names might be culled.
Ingram and Tech Data recently lost out in a similar review Microsoft completed for its hardware accessories business, which includes mice and keyboards. In that case there were seven distributors were invited to bid for this franchise but only Exertis and Westcoast were successful.
Exertis, which last month wrote a cheque for its Hammer acquisition wants to buy audio visual outfit Medium.
The move is part of Exertis’s cunning plan to snap up complementary businesses. Medium will strengthen its position in the AV market. It will get a much wider range of products and is being pitched to provide resellers with access to a complete solution.
Medium has been around for a long time and supplies a broad range of AV products, including projectors, interactive displays and digital signage from vendors including LG, NEC, Samsung and Panasonic.
The channel player employs 40 and has a turnover of £32 million and flogs its gear to 800 AV resellers across the UK.
Last month Exertis added the storage and server expertise of Hammer to expand its business coverage.
Ian Sempers, Medium MD said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with Exertis. The continued convergence of the IT and AV market means we will be in a great position to service a sector that extends beyond traditional AV solutions. Our expertise and technical knowledge in this market combined with Exertis’ wider product portfolio will provide a compelling proposition for resellers and vendors.”
PC components manufacturer Fractal Design has named Exertis as a distributor for its range of cases, PSUs and cooling gear.
The move is seen as a push by Fractal Design into the UK channel using Exertis’ system integration customerbase and its multiple and independent retail and etail segments.
Exertis gets the full range of Fractal Design cases, including the Define, Core, Node and ARC series.
Stuart Hatch, Exertis general manager for components, said: “Exertis has the UK’s broadest portfolio for the PC enthusiast and gamer and the addition of Fractal Design is a perfect high-end complement to our growing range of PC chassis and accessories.
“We look forward to working with Fractal Design to broaden the customer base for their unique Scandinavian blend of cool style and cool operation.”
Graham Dark, regional manager for Western Europe and South Africa at Fractal Design, added: “Exertis is the premier distributor for PC components and gaming in the UK and we are delighted to be able to partner with them to bring our high-performance cases to a wider UK market.
“Fractal Design’s range of products are the pinnacle of design and performance and we partner with companies of a similar ethos. Exertis really adds to our presence in the retail, etail and SI markets.”
Distributor Exertis has appointed Phil Brown to lead the commercial business units and IT reseller base for B2B and VAD solutions.
The official title on his business card is sales and commercial director for IT but he has a pretty wide ranging brief. Apparently Exertis wants to expand its company’s partners by aligning the sales and commercial units more closely.
Brown was previously B2B sales director which saw him look after the core IT and specialist sales teams, reseller partners and B2B vendors. Before this, he was commercial and marketing director at Exertis.
In a statement Brown said: “This position will enable me to help develop the Exertis proposition and ensure that all our partners have access to a wealth of great technologies, solutions and services we offer. I can’t wait to get started.”
Exertis UK’s managing director, Paul Bryan, added: “Phil has already demonstrated his skills and attributes in the course of his previous roles with us and I am confident he will build on this in his new role. This is an important next step in our evolution as we enhance our focus in the market.”
Exertis recently announced that is it has realigned the structure of its networking team ahead of the market trends it expects to unfold in 2016.
Anti-virus outfit Kaspersky has named Exertis UK as its new B2B channel distributor.
Exertis will offer its reseller base Kaspersky’s range of value-add B2B products, including anti-virus, malware detection and firewalls.
Kaspersky said that the appointment followed a substantial growth in the UK B2B space over the last year. It now has 250 new resellers registering as a partner, giving 582 in total.
The two firms already have an existing partnership in the consumer space space (B2C) but now Exertis can offer the security companies products to business-to-business resellers.
Kaspersky UK and Ireland MD Kirill Slavin said: “Protection is not just about patching on basic security for businesses today, it is about building cyber-resilience into the very heart of operations. There is an immense opportunity for the channel and we’re delighted to use Exertis to bolster sales.
“Exertis brings two distinct approaches to the market. Its value added distribution offering encompasses technical excellence and experience in the security arena. It can also help our business get further reach into the mass reseller community, a move which is invaluable for resellers and customers alike.”
Exertis VAD Solutions MD Grahame Smee said: “We’re looking forward to working with Kaspersky as it enters an exciting stage of growth in the channel.
“The cyber-threat landscape is evolving and this relationship will help us to deliver a value-add proposition for businesses from a company that is globally renowned for its knowledge and expertise in the cybersecurity arena.”