The distribution partnership established between SMC Networks South Africa and Channel Data has had a major impact on the networking space since its inception some eight months ago. This is the viewpoint of both Paul Luff, country manager at SMC Networks and Jack Ward, MD at Channel Data.

Both Luff and Ward believe that the agreement in place has already yielded benefit as SMC Networks aligns the value of its technical expertise and product knowledge with the focused distribution strength of Channel Data – specifically within the high-end UPS, firewall/ bandwidth management, storage and security segments of the broader local networking market.
“One of the main objectives behind this partnership is to address the obvious and pressing requirements within the previously neglected small-to-medium segment of the market. We are pleased to report that we are well underway with this process, that there has been a very positive response with a clear increase in interest and investment in solutions within this particular target market,” says Luff.
According to SMC Networks the strategic distribution agreement ensures that users gain the benefit of Channel Data’s core strengths – those that encompass the entire spectrum of networking infrastructure and associated peripherals, as well as networking devices.
“Channel Data has established a reputation in the market for the provision of UPS solutions that are rates amongst the best in the world. The company is also known for the ease with which its firewall and bandwidth management solutions can be implemented, as well as the strength of its security offering,” Luff adds.
In addition to its own local market experience, and access to global best practices and networking trends, SMC Networks South Africa brings to the partnership technical expertise to consult, quote, project manage and maintain infrastructure.
Luff adds that SMC Networks is in the process of finalising its strategy to focus on the local ISP segment of the market and would like to position Channel Data at the forefront of this strategy.
“The market is well aware of Channel Data’s offerings in Juniper Networks, amongst others. We are involved in a concerted effort to raise the profile of the company and the value of its expertise and product knowledge. We believe the plan to meet requirements within the ISP market will certainly add impetus to this objective,” says Luff.
Ward is in agreement and suggests that Channel Data will make a meaningful difference to this strategy, as the partnership continues to gain momentum in the market.
“The increased need for networking services and support within the ISP space is a compelling reason for SMC Networks to engage this segment, and do so through the alliance with Channel Data. We believe that as the small-to-medium space grows, so too will the dependence on reliable, credible, cost effective and lasting service from providers.
"This is where the partnership with SMC can and will make a difference. SMC Networks has a proven track record in network optimization and the supply of reliable, high quality solutions to a growing market. We look forward to engaging with the market going forward and believe there is much value to be derived from the association."