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20 April 2015 | 0

MicroWarehouse and APC by Schneider Electric have embarked upon a reseller recruitment drive after inking a distribution deal for Ireland.

The distributor believes many of its 500 reseller partners are more than ready to ship APC products into the enterprise and SMB markets in Ireland.

Managing director Rory Wilson said APC’s product range would fit well with the distributor’s engagement in the enterprise, software and hosting markets, and with the storage solutions it provided.

“It will very much complement them,” he told TechTrade. The looming end of life of Windows Server 2003 could also open up the door to virtualisation opportunities with UPS and cloud services built in, he added.

Describing APC as a market leading product, Wilson said he expected “a lot of our partners will be involved with it. Some of our larger partners come with a specific demand for a premium vendor and APC definitely fits the bill for them”.

Vincent Barro, Schneider

Vincent Barro, Schneider Electric

APC is primarily known as an uninterruptible power supplies vendor, the company’s portfolio also includes precision cooling units, racks, physical security and design and management software, including InfraStruXure architecture, the comprehensive integrated power, cooling, and management solution.

Vincent Barro, IT Business vice president, Ireland, at Schneider Electric revealed that Ireland’s booming economy was a strong factor in its decision to appoint MicroWarehouse. He said the company was following large US customers that were investing in Ireland.

The APC brand is well regarded and the business has been “extremely big in Ireland”, he commented, but added, “I think we can do more than we do today”.

While there had been a longstanding focus on large enterprises, Barro stressed that the company wanted to get SMB customers on board and it was keen to create leads and opportunities in that part of the market. “At end of the day, SMB is important to us. Not being invested in this side of the business is an oversight. Ten small leads are as attractive as one large one.”

APC by Schneider Electric is keen to build a strong relationship with resellers and partners in Ireland, he revealed. Resellers are welcome to register in its partnership programme and those that did would find they could quickly make the step up to premier accreditation if they achieved the requirements.

He added that many resellers were not aware of the depth of the vendor’s portfolio. “We have made a lot of acquisitions and our portfolio is quite unique,” Barro told TechTrade. “We are extremely competitive on all sides.”

Long-term
While he was unable to provide a precise figure for the company’s ambitions in Ireland, Barro said it should achieve high double-digit growth this year. “This is not a one-shot business,” he remarked. “We have a long-term plan.”

To make things work on both sides, APC by Schneider Electric needed a distributor that had the will to improve its channel and resellers that were growing and looking for new areas to sell into. Barro said that unlike some distributors that might have a model based on pushing “many, many brands”, MicroWarehouse had a strong focus and was “an attractive distributor for our products. I have met the owner and I appreciate that MicroWarehouse wants to grow with us and it trusts us. It feels extremely comfortable when you have a distributor that says it wants to invest with you and grow quickly with you.”

Wilson agreed that MicroWarehouse was “not a distributor that picks up brands on a regular basis and disposes of them over time. We are quite selective over who we partner with”. He said the distributor planned “to get going over the next quarter” signing up resellers for the APC by Schneider Electric portfolio.

Rory Wilson, MicroWarehouse

Rory Wilson, MicroWarehouse

Wilson suggested MicroWarehouse’s status as an indigenous player in the Irish market could also be beneficial to APC compared to distributors from outside Ireland that have sales offices here but do not hold stock locally.

MicroWarehouse’s two major vendors and longest established partners are Apple and Microsoft. It has also been a Toshiba partner since 2005 and the distributor’s other software vendors include Adobe and Symantec.

Established in 1986, MicroWarehouse is Ireland’s largest independently owned IT distributor. All products are shipped from its warehouse in Dublin which holds over €3 million in stock and 90% of orders are next day delivery.

APC by Schneider Electric, formerly known as American Power Conversion Corporation, was acquired by Schneider Electric in 2007 and combined with MGE UPS Systems to form Schneider Electric’s Critical Power and Cooling Services Business Unit. In 2011 APC by Schneider Electric became a product brand only, with the company rebranded as the IT Business Unit of Schneider Electric. APC by Schneider Electric products, solutions and services are an integral part of the Schneider Electric IT portfolio.

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