Acer has appointed Ingram Micro as its third distributor in South Africa, giving it access to the same range of products that the other two distributors – Tarsus and Axiz – have.
However, the new distributor will differentiate itself by focusing on niche markets rather than the broad-based environment its competitors operate in.
Graham Braum, country manager of Acer SA, says the new appointment is about focus for the Acer brand.
"With Ingram Micro, there are different segments of the market we would like to address together.
"We believe this is a partnership and there will be a focus on our brand."
Ingram Micro, which has traditionally operated in this market as a components distributor, doesn't represent any other PC brands in South Africa and Braum believes this will make it a focused partner for Acer.
Acer recently restructured its companies to focus on vertical market sectors and believes that Ingram Micro will give more attention to these strategic areas. "I think we will complement each other." says Braum.
"In addition, Ingram Micro is already our biggest partner worldwide."
Hansie Fourie, MD of Ingram Micro SA, explains that the new relationship with Acer doesn't represent a change of strategy for the company, which has always described itself as a components distributor.
"It's not a turnaround in our stategy," he says. "We are not about to become a broad-based distributor but will remain very focused.
"Although we initially pitched Ingram Micro in South Africa as a components distributor, in hindsight this wasn't the right description – it's more of a focused distributor."
In this light, he says, taking on a single, Tier One, PC brand allows the company to continue to focus as it is the only PC brand that it carries.
"Our value proposition is that focus. If we had to try to be another broad-based distributor, we wouldn't be able to compete. But the focus gives us an edge and we should be able to capture market share.
"This is the biggest step in our evolution in the South African market," Fourie adds. "This appointment takes us to the next level."