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IBM, Bell Microproducts Forge Distribution Agreement

Technology products provider Bell Microproducts Inc. Wednesday began distributing IBM technology in an agreement that is expected to generate more than $2 billion in sales over the next four years.

Bell Microproducts (BELM) will carry by IBM's (IBM) LCD panels, network controllers, storage area networks (SAN), network and server attached storage (NAS and SAS), hard disk drives, tape drives and LTO-based tape libraries.

Bell will market IBM subsystem assemblies and certified system solutions. Bell will also contribute a services including testing, software loading, kitting, mass storage system integration, andcomputer system integration.

PartnerNet, Bell Microproduct's new customer extranet, will guide resellers and OEMs through the decision-making, pricing and purchasing processes of IBM products. A virtual warehousing program will allow resellers to position Bell Microproduct's IBM inventory as their own through internet portals.

Bell's BellStor Storage Solutions Division will also provide technical support for the entire range of storage products from the IBM Storage Technology Division, including server attached storage (SAS) arrays, network attached storage (NAS), storage area network (SAN) and LTO tape automation solutions.

"Expanding sales of IBM technology through Bell Microproducts will help bring IBM innovations to market faster," said David Ernsberger, IBM Technology Group's vice president of worldwide sales. "Bell Microproducts' transition from a traditional component distributor to a solutions provider makes them well-suited for bringing IBM's leading-edge technologies to resellers, system integrators and OEMs."

The IBM Technology Group, a major supplier of components to computer makers, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of hard drives, liquid crystal displays, tape storage systems and semiconductors.