Mike Jones, director of direct businesses (which includes CCD), confirmed the company, which has traditionally had a strong focus on Intel-based platforms, was interested in the Sun business.
Taking on the server vendor would not be a complete departure, as Computacenter acquired distribution rights to Compaq’s Alpha range when it bought Metrologie from the receivers for £2m in November 1999.
“We’re in a fabulous position,” said Jones, “as Computacenter is already one of the biggest Sun resellers in the UK. In terms of skills and expertise, we’ve got them in-house.”
He confirmed it was looking at the channel development partner (CDP) and CDP plus distribution accreditations which were introduced by Sun in the last quarter of 2000 and ended Tplc’s distribution monopoly in the UK.
“We’re looking at the investment necessary versus the opportunity and potential gain. It’s a balancing act,” Jones added.
Simon Welch, group marketing manager at Sun CDP Clarity Technology, suggested any attempt by CCD to gain rights to the vendor’s portfolio would cause concern.
“I don’t think it’s entirely compatible to have a user and a distribution business. There’s clearly a conflict of interest.”
Because Computacenter was a large Sun reseller, it would often come into competition with other Sun VARs, making it difficult for the distribution arm to win over customers.
He argued that if CCD gained a Sun distribution contract, it would “go down like a lead balloon” with the channel. Full Mike Jones interview next week
This was first published in March 2001