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That was the finding of an IDC report suggesting that "not only has the PC market registered negative growth, but long-term prospects for the hardware business are bleak. Given the reseller channel's inability to diversify its business model, IDC expects direct sales to increase from 55.6 per cent to 56.8 per cent by 2005".
Quantum's Sales director Stuart Akish said: "Resellers are becoming defunct because no technical expertise is needed to install much of the PC technology."
Gary Fowle, general manager for PC systems at C2000, disagreed. "IDC reported recently that there were 1.3m SMEs in the UK. How can the direct model reach them all?" he argued.
IDC also suggested the Hewlett-Packard/Compaq merger would have a devastating effect on the channel. It claimed: "Once the fusion is approved, the new entity will be obliged to rationalise its business partner networks and overhaul its terms and conditions."