Lenovo has confirmed that it is winding down its distribution agreement with Northamber and is preparing to welcome Micro P on board.
This follows hot on the heels of 3Com's decision yesterday to terminate its distribution agreement with Northamber because the sales volumes were lower than expected.
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Neil Berville, Lenovo executive director for the UK, Ireland and Benelux, would not comment on the specifics of the Northamber deal, only commenting that the direction both companies were heading in was "not compatible".
"We are working towards a smooth exit, Northamber still has product and we estimate that it will be clear of that in July," he told MicroScope.
As revealed several months ago, Lenovo had been expected to tie up a deal with Micro P that covered servers but the agreement has expanded to include the entire range. Exploratory talks with Computer 2000 were not taken further.
"We will be on a drive with Micro P to acquire new resellers and have a target in the next quarter to bring on board 200 to 300 new partners," he said.
The SME channel, e-tailers and independent retailers will be the focus of recruitment and Berville said he wanted Micro P to "champion" its Think brand, "heavily concentrate" on servers and spearhead the new IdeaPad range.
The IdeaPad portfolio will include next generation netbooks and ultra low voltage notebooks, "it is due out in mid-July on the back of the launch with Micro P".
The deal also includes both TopSeller business and corporate bid SKUs, a part of Lenovo's business that had been criticised by distributors as they did not make rebates on that side of the portfolio but that may be about to change.
"We are working on an initiative internally and are trying to simplify our engagement with the channel to take away the internal segmentations (transactional and relationship)," he said.
Mark Kahr, vendor and marketing director at Micro P, said it wanted to strengthen the portfolio of business products, "we feel that our offering in the B2B space is relatively weaker than B2C."
In the UK, Lenovo will continue to work with Interface Solutions International (ISI) and Ingram Micro.
ISI business unit director Rob Tomlin planned to ensure there was "no disruption in services to Lenovo's reseller community".
"We have bolstered our internal account management team with new recruits to ensure its business as usual for Lenovo's resellers."
Northamber was unavailable for comment.