3Com has given Northamber its marching orders following a review of the business as sales volumes fell short of expectations.
At the same time, the networking giant has confirmed to MicroScope that its newly launched H3C enterprise switches will be sold directly to the system integrators (SI) it is in the process of recruiting, with no involvement from distribution.
A spokeswoman at 3Com said it had reviewed all channel partners across EMEA and had decided to end the agreement with Northamber. "The level of business did not justify the continuation of the relationship."
She added that it was currently working with Northamber to "ensure a smooth transition" but did not have an estimated date of termination.
Earlier this year, Northamber hinted at a strategy shake-up, stating it was unhappy with the level of support that vendors have provided in the current climate and has since parted company with Lexmark.
The change leaves 3Com with Bell Microproducts, Computer 2000 and Westcon in the UK however none of these partners will have access to the enterprise switches launched in May across Europe under the H3C brand.
The spokeswoman said the products were complex and it would provide high level SI partners with the requisite level of training to ensure they were up to scratch.
"We believe the products will be sold through a one tier model... its more efficient," she said, adding this was a completely different channel to 3Com.
Distributors appear unaware that 3Com is bypassing them on the H3C products. One said he was "concerned" by the developments and would look into the situation in more detail.
Another said he was "blissfully unaware of the situation" but warned the vendor "not to underestimate" the role that distribution plays in the reseller market.
Northamber was unavailable for comment.