Dell has appointed Micro P as its first distribution partner in the UK charged with bolstering printer and consumables sales through resellers.
The US giant has previously said that its build-to-order and logistical capabilities meant it would only operate a two tier model in certain circumstances and printers obviously fit the bill.
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In a statement, a Dell spokeswoman said "Dell has always maintained that it will work with distributors where we think they add value." It was unable to make further comment at this time, the vendor added.
The only other two tier model Dell operates in this country is through storage vendor EqualLogic, who was already working with Avnet and Hammer when it was acquired by Dell.
Mark Kahr, vendor and marketing director at Micro P said "Bringing Dell Imaging on board is a key strategic move to strengthen our corporate business to business offering.
"Here at Micro-P we are capable of growing our market share in the channel from a standing start giving our customers a solid product offering," he continued.
According to sources in the printer market, Dell inkjet printer and MFP sales have suffered because its team of telesales in Ireland that call up resellers with promotions are not paid on dealers' peripherals shipments.
At present, Dell re-brands Lexmark inkjets, Samsung's low-end mono devices and colour lasers by Fuji Xerox.
The challenge for Dell is reaching more customers said Malcolm Hancock, principal analyst at Gartner and a two tier channel would help them increase adoption, "Dell is not getting mind share in that business", he said.
Laser printer and MFP market shipments in the UK declined 2.6% in the first half of 2008 according to Gartner data while Dell grew 16%, placing it in fifth position with 5.2% market share.
But in the inkjet printer and MFP segment, sales fell 5.8% but Dell volumes plummeted 57.9%. It stood in sixth position with 1.5% market share, down from 3.3% a year ago.