The world's largest IT distributor, Ingram Micro, entered the South African market this month with rather less of a bang than expected. However, the other – often-overlooked – side of the story is starting to unfold with sister distributor Storgate gearing itself up for a new name and direction in life.
Speculation has been rife in the run-up to Ingram Micro's debut, with analysts doubtful of the company's claimed focus exclusively on components.
With attention riveted on the Ingram Micro side of the building, however, Storgate has been quietly setting itself up to become a major broad-based player.
On 2 July, Storgate will shed its restrictive name and acquire the new, much more broad-based, monicker of ChannelWare
Its dynamic new MD, Tony Galvao, has already added some broad-based product lines to the company's line-up and looks set to keep up the pace in the months to come.
It's been a closely-guarded secret, but ChannelWare will open its doors next Monday with a product line-up that could position it among the country's top distributors.
These include Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Philips, Oracle, Symantec, Crystal Reports, Business Objects, Quantum, 3Com, Brocade, InfoTrend and Promise.
Some are from the old Storgate portfolio; others represent a completely new direction. More announcements will probably be forthcoming in the coming days and weeks, with ChannelWare expected to snap up whatever solution-orientated product lines are not currently covered by its other sister distributor Tarsus Technologies.
The new-look distributor has also been conducting a recruitment drive – in some instances, people applying for positions at Ingram Micro were surprised to find themselves being interviewed by Storgate – and should open with an impressive people line-up as well.
Meanwhile, Ingram Micro, which opened its doors with the components side of the Storgate business, has also started to sign up new product lines, with the announcement last week that it has secured distribution of BenQ.
ChannelWare and Ingram Micro operate out of the same Linbro Park offices and warehouse.