Emerson targets SMBs via Ingram Micro

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Ingram Micro has been appointed master distributor for Emerson Network Power's Liebert Micro Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS) across the eastern seaboard.
Bob Daniel, MD of Emerson Network Power for Australia and New Zealand, said the US vendor would now work through Ingram Micro in the eastern states, while other distributors would have to deal with Ingram Micro.

Emerson Network Power had decided to target broad-based distribution with an eye to promoting its Liebert Micro UPS gear for SMBs with about 20 to 100 staff, he said.

“Our smaller UPS products have good technology but haven't necessarily had strong channels to get those products to market [in Australia],” he said. “Ingram Micro seemed to be the best fit.”

Daniel said Emerson Network Power had been working with smaller distributors that focused on specific market areas in major Australian cities, but had not had broad-based distribution.

“We did [talk to Tech Pacific], but they had commitments with other suppliers, so that wasn't an option,” he said.

Further, Emerson and Liebert had existing relationships with Ingram Micro in other circumstances so Emerson had sought to combine all possible benefits, Daniel said.

The Ingram Micro deal takes effect next month in all states except South Australia and Western Australia. It was essentially year by year and would continue as long as the relationship was going well, he added.

Daniel said Emerson Network Power's SMB Liebert UPS had similar features to its high-end UPS.

Double conversion meant the hardware could convert AC power to DC and back again. It could also recreate the actual sine wave, as opposed to having back-up batteries that it switched to when power was used, he said.

“We feel we have better technology in our products and better products with better price points and better margin opportunities,” Daniel said.

He said resellers should be able to make margins of up to 20 percent on the US vendor's smaller UPS products, which made up about one-third of sales for its total power business in Australia.

“We want to increase it to more like 50:50 with our other UPS products,” he said.

UPS came second in turnover to its air products. Emerson Network Power's main claim to fame was its range of precision air-conditioning gear for cooling data centres, Daniel said.

The partnership with Ingram was “primarily” for the small UPS range. However, Daniel would not rule out eventually including its air-conditioning and backup power offerings for critical spaces, he said.

Various technologies and trends were encouraging UPS adoption, such as VoIP, power over Ethernet and convergence. Outages were relatively common, yet businesses were finding it increasingly critical to keep IT up and running.

“And SMBs have just as many critical applications as large enterprises,” Daniel said.

Steve Rust, MD at Ingram Micro Australia, said in a statement that the broad-based distributor was always seeking more products to add to its portfolio.

Ingram Micro would start by pushing four Liebert Micro UPS offerings; Liebert PowerSure Assistant, PowerSure Proactive, PowerSure Interactive and UPStation GXT included entry level offline UPS, line interactive UPS and online double conversion products.
Emerson Network Power is a subsidiary of US power products vendor Emerson. Emerson reported sales in the 2002-03 financial year of US$14 billion.

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