Microsoft realigns UK distribution strategy, cuts Avnet

Avnet among distributors cut from UK line-up as Microsoft repositions its distie strategy to account for its ‘devices and services’ strategy

Microsoft has revealed details of a major revamp of its UK distribution strategy, with Avnet and VIP Computers heading for the exit.

Spearheaded by outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft is currently undergoing a major transformation process towards becoming what it describes as a “devices and services” company.

To this end it has undertaken a worldwide project to assess the distributors best placed in each region to support this change and “deliver a superior customer experience for resellers.”

In a brief statement, Microsoft said that its UK distribution partners; Avnet, Entatech, Ingram Micro, Exertis Micro-P, Tech Data and Westcoast had been invited to take part in a request for proposals (RFP) process back in September.

Following the conclusion of the RFP process, Microsoft’s UK distribution network, as of 1 January 2014, will be made up of four key categories: Volume Licence Distribution, run by Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Westcoast; Fully Packaged Product, run by Ingram, Micro-P, Tech Data and Westcoast; Commercial OEM Windows and Server, run by Entatech, Ingram and Tech Data; and finally, Commercial OEM Server Only, run by Micro-P and Westcoast.

In a brief statement, Avnet TS UK sales director Laura Bouchard, said that the distie remained committed to supporting partner growth through a focus on higher-value solutions, but that, “following conversations with Microsoft it has become apparent that this focus does not align with Microsoft’s strategy to be a devices-led organisation".

"We will work closely with our business partners and Microsoft to ensure a smooth transition of the business.”

The relationship between Microsoft and the Avnet Embedded operation remains unaffected by the changes.

VIP Computers had not made any comment at the time of writing.

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