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Following a radical restructure of its sales force last month, Ideal Hardware has re-iterated its commitment to the dynamic and ever-growing enterprise solutions market.

The Enterprise Solutions Group (ESG) focuses on providing Ideal’s resellers with the expertise and ability to engage with its customers on the complexities of Storage Area Networks (SANs). These new fibre storage solutions introduce resellers and IT users to new ways of deploying and managing their storage requirements. Ideal, recently voted Storage Distributor of the Year 2000 for the second year running, has the resources, products and services resellers need to deliver appropriate solutions to their clients.

"Storage is Ideal’s core business competence and it has been for 13 years," says Mark Walker, enterprise solutions director. "The majority of IT spend will soon be directly related to storage, especially in the enterprise marketplace, and we have significantly geared up to ensure that Ideal remains the dominant force in UK storage. Our parent company, Bell Microproducts INC, is the largest storage-focussed distributor in the world and can already claim leadership in the enterprise storage sector."

"We’ve really invested heavily into our enterprise capabilities," comments Tony Craythorne, general manager for enterprise solutions. "We have more than 20 team members who work with customers to fully understand their business, their commercial pressures and to assist in growing their enterprise business opportunities. The team is constantly growing to provide the best possible service for our portfolio of enterprise storage vendors and for the channel.

"We are vendor independent with the widest portfolio of storage products and vendors," Craythorne continues. "The prime goal is to provide the reseller with an excellent service to successfully implement and complete a solution from conception to fulfilment. Our technical account managers build enterprise solutions for our customers based on their business needs. Our solutions strategy centres around the integration of products and services."

"We have a sales force structure that includes pre- and post-sales services, including consultancy, technical account management, product and technology specialists, and a dedicated enterprise business development team," continues Craythorne. "We also provide our clients with added value services such as our ProveIT Suite. This has been designed to give resellers and their customers the opportunity to test both real life environments and evaluate prospective data storage solutions."

"We are able to provide single and multi-vendor solutions," says Mark Walker. "We have positioned ourselves as the primary distributor to partner with in the UK and Europe for the next phase of Networked Storage implementation - truly integrated SANs combining best-of-breed vendors in open, inter-operable environments."

"Ideal has worked hard to build up an unrivalled portfolio of enterprise vendors and truly there is no other distributor in Europe who can match the breadth and depth of our offering, comments Mark Walker. "But this is just the beginning - we are in discussions with various major vendors regarding strategic alliances and will be announcing a series of initiatives with major players in the market."

For further information please contact:

Wai Tang

Ideal Hardware

020 8286 5000

Sharon Smith

Ideal Press Office

020 7375 3633

Editor’s Note:

Ideal Hardware Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of US based Bell Microproducts Inc., is a leading UK based value-added, storage-centric distributor focusing on the high end of the storage market. Ideal is also a leading distributor of Compaq servers, PCs and storage products and is one of only 12 Compaq distributors worldwide to be awarded the prestigious CIP accreditation for high-end products. Ideal has strategic relationships with approximately 80 suppliers of enterprise storage, computer systems, software and media products. These strategic products are packaged with Ideal’s value-added programmes and services to provide complete NAS, SAS and SAN solutions.

Note: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company’s current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks and information described from time to time in the company’s reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Current Reports on Form 8-K regarding
this and other transactions). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.

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