Alstom, SGI: A distribution deal made in heaven

After "months" of discussion, local distributor Alstom IT has scored a "million-dollar-a-month" distribution deal with US server and graphics vendor SGI.

According to Chris Hale, Alstom IT's general manager for business services, the exclusive deal will enable both companies to broaden their local market positionings by taking advantage of each other's existing reputations.

Hale said SGI wanted to expand its distribution presence in Australia to include NT and Linux-based server products. Previously, SGI placed a greater emphasis on "niche-market", high-powered "supercomputer" graphics products. He cited SGI's 1998 acronym change, from "Silicon Graphics" to "Servers, Graphics, Insight" as testament to the company's changing direction.

Accordingly, Alstom IT wanted to expand its distribution range of server products, he said.

Hale said the SGI deal was the US company's first foray into the Australian distribution channel. SGI's previous direct-sales strategy had resulted in waiting periods of up to four weeks, he said, explaining that this was because the company stored its products in its own warehouse in the US.

Hale said SGI had entered the Alstom distribution deal because NT and Linux server distribution represented a "high volume market". Customers ordering these products expected relatively quick distribution, he said.

Alstom IT expects its local distribution of SGI products such as SGI 1400 and 1200 Intel-based servers for NT and Linux will generate revenues of around $1 million per month.

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