Demise of HP and Westcon deal points to ESSN distie overhaul


Demise of HP and Westcon deal points to ESSN distie overhaul

Microscope contributor

HP Networking and Westcon Convergence are terminating their UK-only distribution agreement, raising questions over the future of certain other wholesale contracts.

The deal was initially penned by the distributor's sister company Comstor in 2009 but the franchise moved across to Westcon Convergence last October after it decided to separate HP from the same portfolio as Cisco as the vendors' relationship became fractious.

Talking to MicroScope, David Grant, senior vice president for Europe at Westcon, said it was in the process of "winding down" the transactional partnership and described the mutual decision as "regrettable".

"We are not a big distributor of HP products and their decision to make networking part of the enterprise server and storage division and their desire to have distributors carry the full portfolio means...we could not offer the full range of services and support."

"This was not good for HP and to be honest it was a disadvantage to Westcon," Grant added.

The three-strong HP team at Westcon underscores the size of the franchise. Other vendors in the portfolio include Avaya, Enterasys and Extreme Networks, while Comstor carries Cisco and Juniper.

"I won't look to rush out to sign another [networking] vendor because there aren't that many out there that can turn a dial for us," he said.

Remaining HP Networking distributors include Ingram Micro, Avnet, Anixter, Westcoast and Azlan.

Alan Finden, HP UK and Ireland distribution manager for ESSN, said the market dynamics changed when it acquired 3Com and inherited incumbent distributors.

He added its Converged Infrastructure strategy required distributors to sell across the entire enterprise portfolio, which "did put [Westcon] at a disadvantage".

This strategy has also led to questions about the future of other distributors, with Arrow carrying just the storage exhibit and Anixter selling only networking.

In terms of others ESSN wholesalers; ETC has a contract to sell the full storage line-up and Intel servers; Westcoast has all products except BCS and storage; and Azlan carries the portfolio aside from BCS.
Only Ingram and Avnet sell the whole ESSN range.

HP refused to comment on any further potential changes.

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