It's been another big year for distributors with vendors coming and going, acquisitions left and right and major platform launches from some of the big names in the industry.
Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that came out of distie-land in 2018.
Court shoots down wind-up attempt on Hills
The year started with an unwarranted winding-up order against Hills by video management software vendor Milestone Systems over a $56,000.
The action was swiftly dismissed by the Queensland Supreme Court, leading Hills to end its relationship with Milestone.
The distie contended that the proceeds were an abuse of process by Milestone, saying that the dispute had been ongoing for some time and that it stemmed from the integrity of Milestone's former partner program.
Tech Data Australia revealed its new e-commerce system rebuilt under new management.
The distributor installed a local instance of its global Shop.TechData platform in the first half of this year.
The distributor also deployed Tech Data's cloud enablement system, StreamOne Cloud Marketplace. It was integrated into the company's StreamOne Enterprise Solutions, which was previously the Avnet Cloud Toolset.
Cisco selects Bluechip Infotech to distribute SMB range
Cisco signed an agreement with Bluechip Infotech to distribute its Start IT solutions for midmarket customers.
Cisco Start offers a suite of SMB-ready IT solutions including servers, desk phones and telepresence units.
Bluechip Infotech solution manager Willy Harsono told CRN that its arrangement with Cisco was as a low touch partner at a rung below the vendor’s agreements with Dicker Data, Ingram Micro and Westcon-Comstor. Similar to those distributors, Bluechip supplies Cisco Start products to resellers and MSPs.
Ingram Micro takes on AWS by making CloudBlue SaaS market self-service for ISVs
Ingram Micro updated its cloud platform CloudBlue to allow independent software vendors to offer their wares as software-as-a-service without having to first formally engage with the distributor.
Ingram’s executive vice president for global cloud Nimesh Dave said that the distributor still has rules that determine the kind of ISVs that are permitted into CloudBlue, but its aim was to have developers consider the company a better alternative to application markets hosted in other clouds’ marketplaces.
That includes even Amazon Web Services, which Dave said is a graveyard for ISVs because its marketplace is so large, but also so lightly-curated, that ISVs will struggle to find customers for their products.
Ingram Micro lets resellers sell any hardware on monthly bill
Ingram Micro launched a new offering allowing Australian resellers to bundle hardware, software and services and sell them to customers on a single monthly bill.
Ingram Technology as a Service, or ITaaS, is underpinned by agreements between the distributor and third-party finance providers so that customers can pay for hardware, software and services as a recurring annuity and the reseller gets paid upfront for the hardware component.
The new offering is particularly geared toward the smaller end of the customer market.
NBN Co appoints first four distributors for ICT channel program
NBN Co revealed the first four distributors that will educate and support partners in the network operator's new ICT channel program.
The new distributors are Ingram Micro, Dicker Data Westcon-Comstor and Aria Technologies.
The program, which went live in April, is intended to help provide ICT consultants with the resources required to connect businesses to the NBN, including training, marketing and support services.
The program allows resellers to respond to customer enquiries about the network and refer them to an RSP.
Telarus changes trading name to Tradewinds for Aussie launch
Cloud communications and contact centre master agent Telarus used its official Australian launch event in August to change its local trading name to Tradewinds, a move that should help it avoid confusion with Victorian telco Telarus.
Synnex's technology-as-a-service platform goes live
Synnex launched its technology-as-a-service offering, which it said makes it easier for partners to launch their own anything-as-a-service offering.
The service, launched in partnership with Microsoft, Lenovo and HP, allows resellers to offer services from hardware, software, licensing, managed services and cloud subscriptions under one monthly bill.
Mobile accessories distributor Cellnet expanded into gaming software and accessories with its acquisition of specialist distributor Turn Left Distribution (TLD).
The $6 million deal brought in a portfolio of brands including Capcom, Koei Tecmo, Konami, Steel Series, Thrustmaster and Plantronics while adding supplier partnerships with JB Hi-Fi, EB Games, Target, Big W and Harvey Norman.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for Cellnet as we move into a new category which is a high growth area for our existing trading partners,” Cellnet chief executive Alan Sparks said.