IBM has signed an agreement with distribution giant Synnex that will see them go after HP's lead in the Australian market for x86-based cloud, virtualisation and storage solutions for small businesses.
It is the first time in 10 years that IBM has appointed a distributor for its hardware products in Australia.
Phil Cameron, director of IBM’s business partner organisation for Australia and New Zealand said Synnex was chosen for its expertise in servers and its many resellers in the SMB market, where demand for such enterprise-class solutions was growing.
“This agreement is an important piece to IBM’s strategy to open up new market opportunities in Australia,” Cameron said.
“Adding Synnex as a new distributor demonstrates IBM’s focus on strengthening and optimising our channel by bringing new Business Partners into the IBM PartnerWorld program.”
Although they have agreements around the world, today's deal today applied only to Australia.
It aimed to wrest market share away from HP, the biggest provider of x86 servers in Asia-Pacific, according to IDC; IBM was No.2.
“We are going after a larger share of the SMB marketplace,” Cameron said.
The size of the SMB market was growing fast as companies look to develop smarter solutions around virtualisation and storage while increasingly undertaking to build private clouds.
Francois Vazille, general manager of IBM Australia’s systems and technology group said its success in winning over Australian SMBs depended on whether it could engage with its channel and demonstrate to SMBs that it had the best solutions for them.
If the company succeeds “it’s going to change the dynamic in the marketplace and how clients relate to IBM”, he said.
But Vazille admitted that Big Blue’s reputation as an enterprise player meant it had to convince small businesses that it understood their needs.
“There is a perception that IBM only plays at the big end of town,” Vazille said. “This is our biggest challenge.”
IBM and Synnex were looking at communications and marketing activities to support its ambitions. Synnex Australia managing director Kee Ong said the deal meant the distie could offer a “leading” server portfolio to its customers for the first time.
“This is a milestone for Synnex, especially for the SMB and mid-market space,” Ong said.
“With this agreement, we can now provide our resellers with end-to-end IT infrastructure and consultation to support their customers’ growing businesses.”
Cameron said the agreement with Synnex would focus on developing IBM's high volume server business and was unlikely to spark disagreements with existing disties such as Ingram Micro and Avnet.
Synnex was due to deliver its global second quarter results tomorrow. Analysts predicted a weaker-than-expected performance due to soft demand from consumers and government in the US.