Mayflex breaks Anixter monopoly

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Infrastructure provider CommScope has appointed Mayflex as its first new distributor in more than 20 years to help launch its lower cost Uniprise line of structured cabling into the UK channel.

According to John McCarthy, Northern European managing director for CommScope, Uniprise “is around 20-25 percent less expensive depending on implementation” than its flagship SYSTIMAX product, and is available in CAT 6 and 6a versions.

McCarthy believes the UK launch of Uniprise, which has proved popular in the US, will set the template for a future pan-European roll out.

CommScope says it is launching Uniprise as a reaction to sluggish sales across the industry and to combat the rise of “cheap imported” cabling which McCarthy estimates is the cause of many network related issues, especially as organisations push the performance envelope.

McCarthy believes that health, education and government will be keen on using big branded cable without the expense of a “Rolls Royce” solution such as SYSTIMAX.

On the selection of Mayflex, McCarthy highlights the distributor's strong reputation in the market and an opportunity to engage with a different partner base compared to that of Anixter. “We are very pleased with our relationship with Anixter and working with Mayflex does not affect that,” he adds.

Mayflex will add CommScope Uniprise line to its structured cabling portfolio but will not carry the manufacturer's flagship SYSTIMAX product. “There is a definite brand preference in the structured cabling industry,” comments Andrew Percival, MD of Mayflex, “We believe there is an important comfort factor… and CommScope has such a trusted reputation that it brings a lot to the table.”

Mayflex will still retain its Brand-Rex line and Percival believes there is “not a lot in it” between the two rival products in the tier 2 spaces they both occupy. Mayflex will be actively targeting partners who are currently using Krone and Panduit structured cabling to move to Uniprise, which it believes is more desirable due to the CommScope’s label combined with better performance and manufacturer-backed warranty.

In an effort to reduce costs, all new training and accreditation for Uniprise partners will be run solely online. This approach, Percival estimates, will reduce training cost incurred by a typical partner by 80 percent. However, partners will be required to provide test data from installed networks to qualify and retain certified status and as part of the manufacturer warranty procedure.

Percival is aiming to recruit between 50 to 70 active partners for Uniprise and believes that new technology such as lower cost 10 Gigabit Ethernet and virtualisation offer the potential for growth in the later half of 2010.