Former Compucon exec takes on GM job at Sweetwater

Philip Tran has today joined Compaq's new aggregator Sweetwater as its general manager, as the company gears up to tackle the SMB PC and notebook market.

Sweetwater is already in action after ordering 3000 brand new DeskPro SB so the company can begin operations immediately.

Tran leaves behind his role at Compucon as its sales and marketing director to tackle what he believes is a unique opportunity in IT distribution.

As revealed by ARN last week, Compaq has appointed Sweetwater as an aggregator to move its DeskPro SB and Armada 100s notebooks.

"What Abbas offered is creating a new distributor-type company. That's why they came up with aggregator," Tran explained.

The company was formed by the MD of reseller Triforce, Abbas Aly, after negotiations with Compaq. "Compaq went away for a couple of months and came up with this product," he said.

Aly has now stepped aside to allow Tran to run the business and the two are in the process of building up Sweetwater's employee base before opening their warehouse in Sydney's Castle Hill in the new year.

Tran explained the concept of an aggregator in Sweetwater's case is to buy bulk shipments up front, offer configure to order (CTO) capabilities and rapid delivery for SMB customers.

"An aggregator is basically what the white box manufacturer is today," Tran continued. "We're trying to be flexible, we're trying to cater for the SMB market and we're trying build to order as well."

Aly added: "Aggregation means we are going to take position on stock. The biggest problem now is if you want to buy a brand name desktop, God help you get it quickly."

Under Compaq's strict conditions, Tran said Sweetwater buys product directly from Compaq's Rydalmere assembly plant as an official distributor. It will also buy the components necessary to offer resellers CTO, such as more RAM or a CD-R on standard PC and notebook models.

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