Dell to woo resellers

Assembling a channel team was always going to be relatively straightforward for Dell but now Andy Dow, its recently appointed channel director for the UK and Ireland, has the tough job of convincing resellers the firm can be their vendor partner of choice.

Assembling a channel team was always going to be relatively straightforward for Dell but now Andy Dow, its recently appointed channel director for the UK and Ireland, has the tough job of convincing resellers the firm can be their vendor partner of choice.

Last week it emerged that channel veteran Dow, who left HP house Westcoast seven days earlier (MicroScope 12 November) will lead its indirect sales operation from next month.

He is expected to implement an indirect model being formulated in EMEA and oversee the launch of a reseller scheme including deal registration. Dow was at the heart of HP's channel whilst it was re-engineered in recent years.

Michael Dell, CEO of the vendor, has outlined a recovery plan that involves developing channel partnerships following a downturn in its fortunes, losing its top spot in the global PC market to HP this year and in the UK last quarter.

But resellers and distributors will take some persuading before they decide to partner the historically direct-selling PC giant. Andy Gass, managing director at Computer 2000, said Dell would need to set out a channel framework.

"We would need to understand how Dell would manage channel conflict because without rules of engagement there will always be that potential," he said.

Mike Norris, chief executive at corporate giant Computacenter, said Dell needed to get specific about Ts&Cs and where it wants the channel to play a formalised role, "there are too many issues at the moment."

"Dell has got to give me a good reason to stop working with my existing vendors and start working with it. How can it make that happen? They can't and it won't," he said.

Channel sales-out data provided by Context showed Dell UK shipped 300 per cent more kit through resellers in the third quarter (12,000 units) and in October sold another 4,000 PCs indirectly.

Jeremy Davies, senior partners at Context, said Dell was "priming itself for the channel push" and added, "Without a doubt this is Dell getting serious about the channel; it has been taking a hammering and needs to partner."

Dell was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.

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