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Unique software licensing tool drives reseller sales

20 November 2002- Chessington-Ideal is now Microsoft’s largest UK distribution partner just two years after moving into retail distribution for the software giant.

Ideal’s success with Microsoft is based on the roll out of its online tool – License Desk on the internet (Ldi) - into some of the UK’s largest Microsoft resellers propelling its Microsoft business in the biggest software explosion that the UK has seen for years.

“In what has been arguably the most important period in the history of Microsoft distribution, Ideal has worked tirelessly to gain the number one slot, overtaking Computer 2000 and Ingram Micro along the way,” said Alex Tatham, VP Global Software Distribution, at Bell Microproducts, Ideal’s parent company.

Alex Hilton, Volume Channel Group Manager, Microsoft, says, 'Ideal has done a fantastic job building their licensing business in the UK over the last two years. As the distribution landscape evolves, the
development of its LDi tool offers innovation, value and service to the channel and we totally support this.'

Ldi works by allowing reseller sales teams to manage licence sales simply and efficiently.

“LDI is world beating technology that can transform a reseller’s sales floor within days. It is almost guaranteed to increase sales and it is available free to Ideal reseller partners,” added Tatham.

Major reseller, Insight has implemented Ldi for its entire sales floor. Sunil Madhani VP of Insight UK, said: “We have seen a large increase in sales of software in the past few months due to the rollout of LDi. All of our sales people are now able to quote software licensing quickly and efficiently. The support and training that Ideal has given during this project has ensured a stress free implementation and that it was a success from the beginning.”

For more information contact ambrose mcnevin 020 8444 7649

About Ideal

Ideal is the UK subsidiary of the world’s largest storage-centric, value-added distributor, Bell Microproducts Inc. Ideal’s product portfolio includes a comprehensive range of data storage, systems, software and services solutions from over 80 market leading IT vendors including HP/Compaq and Microsoft.

In 2001, Ideal divided its business into Volume, Enterprise and Services to provide added focus to the reseller channel, delivering the support of two separate, specialist sales solutions – Ideal and Ideal Enterprise Solutions.

The Ideal volume business continues to focus on delivering value to the channel for HDD, NAS, Tape, Optical, mass storage and components. Ideal Enterprise Solutions supports resellers in the management of customers’ enterprise storage and complex networking requirements, from conceptualisation through to installation and includes systems, software and LDI (License Desk on the internet).

In 2001, Ideal was awarded Storage Distributor of the Year for the third consecutive year.

Safe Harbour Statement

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the 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 described from time to time in the Company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K). 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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