Schneider battles Sydney distributor DPSA over lost millions

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Schneider battles Sydney distributor DPSA over lost millions

The fallout between data centre technology distributor DPSA and Schneider Electric has spilled into court over an apparent $5.4 million debt.

Court documents show that the relationship between the vendor and the distie broke down over one of DPSA's largest customers, Canberra Data Centres (CDC).

In 2009, DPSA won exclusive rights to supply CDC with hardware from Schneider. When CDC came to build out its new data centre in Fyshwick in November 2014, the data centre provider contracted DPSA to supply 52 hot aisle containment system (HACS) pods from Schneider for the first stage of construction.

DPSA had supplied 12 HACS pods by June 2015, after which the distributor claims that Schneider agreed to supply the 40 remaining pods directly, allegedly breaking the terms of its deal. DPSA said it lost out on $3.5 million from the deal. A month later, DPSA's exclusive agreement with CDC was officially terminated.

DPSA also claims that because of the cancellation, it lost out on another $2.4 million from supplying 30 HACS pods to CDC's Hume data centre.

Schneider was unable to comment on its reason for supplying CDC directly, given the ongoing legal dispute.

The distribution agreement between DPSA and Schneider was terminated in June 2016, ending the eight-year partnership. The loss of DPSA's anchor vendor led to multiple staff departures, and inspired chief executive Jacques Tesson to launch a new distributor, CertaOne.

Schneider claims that as of 23 May 2016, DPSA still owes an outstanding debt of $5.4 million. Of that total, $2.9 million is allocated to the CDC project, $2.4 million from other outstanding accounts and $106,000 in interest.

Schneider vice president of IT Joe Craparotta told CRN: "Schneider Electric simply wishes to be paid for products and solutions supplied to, and on-sold by, DPSA, to channel customers.

"Secondly, we do not want the channel and or customers to go through this again. I would like to note the great commitment by our distributors, Dicker Data, Ingram Micro, PDC and Remington who through their commitment to the channel ensured that it was business as usual and that only a small few channel partners were affected by the situation with DPSA."

The two companies will meet in court this week.

DPSA declined to comment.

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