Dell abandoning broadline distie strategy

Dell appears to have abandoned the idea of luring broadline distributors with a pan-European contract in favour of appointing country specific nationals and specialists. In spring last year Dell ushered Tech Data and Ingram Micro into its North American channel as PC and latterly server distributors

Dell appears to have abandoned the idea of luring broadline distributors with a pan-European contract in favour of appointing country specific nationals and specialists.

In spring last year Dell ushered Tech Data and Ingram Micro into its North American channel as PC and latterly server distributors, but its plans to transfer the agreement across the Atlantic were halted by the fragmented nature of the market.

It would seem that Dell, which yesterday brought CMS Peripherals into the fold to distribute EqualLogic's portfolio, has decided to go down a different route.

"With the complexity in EMEA the best practise approach we are taking is using specialist distributors," said Paul Harrison, Dell country manager for partner direct.

"We are focusing on targeting distributors and master distributors to support the UK market place," he added.

The decision to work with smaller distributors may not be Dell's choice alone given comments made by Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkovsky last November, when he noted overall orders for PCs were down and Dell was no different.

"The demand for products we added from Dell has not been robust," he said.

This would suggest that Tech Data, which counts all the major vendors in its portfolio does not have the appetite to add another one, at least in Europe.

Dell had not been able to convince the broadliners that it represented a compelling opportunity, said Alastair Edwards, principal analyst at Canalys, "its not a complexity issue as all other system vendors work with broadliners."


"The broadliners are under no illusion that working with Dell would impact their more established supplier relationships, they have pushed back against Dell and it has been forced to work with smaller national players," he said.


Resellers have long called for Dell to involve distributors in its PC and server supply to improve the availability of credit and offer next day delivery.


Given the firm's slip into third place in the UK PC market during Q4, the need may be more pressing than ever.

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