3Com and TP differ over divorce

3Com and TP differ over divorce

NETWORKING products vendor 3Com and its outgoing distributor, Tech Pacific, are in disagreement over their parting of the ways.

3Com says its move to adopting a single distributor model — leaving Ingram Micro as exclusive distributor — was to give it more focus and greater resources in New Zealand.

Tech Pacific, however, accuses 3Com of making too many warranty demands and cutting back its New Zealand investment.

3Com ANZ channel director Simon Edwards says focusing on one distributor will mean better service for resellers, including a new 24-hour parts delivery service.

“Tech Pacific has a multitude of vendors who are all jostling for position to get the right level of focus and attention. Some of the changes Ingram Micro is making made it easy for [us] to go down this route,” Edwards says.

Ingram Micro becomes 3Com’s exclusive New Zealand distributor on September 1, though it hopes to introduce improved education and training, and a wider product range and support mechanisms before then.

A 24-hour return material approval (RMA) service for volume products will be launched, plus a next-business-day replacement service for enterprise-class hardware, software updates and technical support.

“This is something our partners have been crying out for. It’s been a real stumbling block for our partners in New Zealand,” Edwards says.

Ingram Micro is also dedicating a Wellington-based business development manager, Jimmy Kurniadjaja, to improving support on pre- and post-sales matters.

3Com’s New Zealand sales are all through the channel, with the vendor claiming a couple of hundred local resellers, including a core of 30 partners, split into three tiers.

Edwards says 3Com spent a year planning the changes. He has visited some 25–30 partners around Auckland and Wellington, and claims resellers support the move.

Ingram Micro New Zealand managing director John Dunbar says the changes are something resellers have been waiting for. He says the break with Tech Pacific will eventually see 3Com gain more resellers, who will help 3Com fight the market-dominant Cisco.

Tech Pacific managing director Tony Butler says his company decided not to sign 3Com’s new warranty agreements because of “issues” with them. Tech Pacific was happy to renew old agreements, but not the new ones, which placed more responsibility on the distributor.

“We don’t believe that their model for warranty and distribution support is up to the standard that we receive from many other vendors and it would be wrong for our other vendors [for us] to resource 3Com,” Butler says.

He says there was no bitterness between the two organisations going their separate ways.

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