Ingram Picked For Nitix

Distributor gets exclusive on Linux-based servers for SMB market

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Ingram Micro has signed an exclusive deal to distribute Net Integration Technologies' Nitix Linux-based server solutions in North America.

Nitix servers are aimed squarely at Microsoft Small Business Server, and Markham, Ontario-based Net Integration is aggressively recruiting SMB solution providers, said Diane Lees, senior category manager for Ingram Micro U.S.

"They make it very easy for resellers to come on board. The training is all Web-based, and there's less competition because they don't go through retailers and e-tailers," Lees said.

A $250 application fee to become a Net Integration partner is waived if solution providers buy the Nitix servers from Ingram Micro. Solution providers can expect margins of about 20 percent, Lees said.

The Nitix software starts at $599 for a five-user license, said Net Integration CEO Ozzie Papic. "Our server scales from literally five [users] onward," Papic said.

More solution providers are offering Linux-based solutions in competitive bids, Lees said. As a result, Ingram Micro's Linux business grew 50 percent in the first quarter of 2004, compared with the fourth quarter last year.

The company declined to say how much of its business is Linux-related.

SEE-Comm, a New Boston, Texas-based solution provider, has been pushing Net Integration products to customers but said Linux solutions remain a challenge because customers still believe Microsoft is the only option, said Greg Starr, SEE-Comm president.

Less than 10 percent of SEE-Comm's business is Linux-related, but it is growing significantly. Starr spoke of one recent deal in which SEE-Comm sold 100 Net Integration servers--its largest to date--through Ingram Micro.

"We saved them $2,000 a server versus Microsoft servers with backup drives and add-ons," Starr said.
SEE-Comm also expects to save $180 in shipping charges per server by buying from Ingram Micro instead of directly from Net Integration. "In that one deal, that's $18,000 right off the bat," he said.

MICHAEL VIZARD contributed to this story.

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