Resellers fear Dells advance

Compaq's channel called a meeting in Auckland last week to discuss the inroads Dell is making into the corporate market with its direct selling model. Those understood to be attending the meeting were Wang, Computerland, Southmark, Axon and Eagle, but Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Digital are thought to be equally concerned about Dell's encroaching presence.

Compaq’s channel called a meeting in Auckland last week to discuss the inroads Dell is making into the corporate market with its direct selling model.

Those understood to be attending the meeting were Wang, Computerland, Southmark, Axon and Eagle.

Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Digital are understood to be equally concerned about Dell’s encroaching presence.

Sources say that if Compaq and other vendors don’t do something about it, the traditional reseller channel could be destroyed. The resellers are being beaten on margin or price.

IDC manager Graham Penn says Dell is still just getting on to the radar screen in terms of units sold, with around 2% of the market. But in the important corporate sector, it has probably taken up to 6%.

“Dell is on the short list of a number of corporates,” Penn says.

IDC’s latest figures show that PC Direct, for two years the number two in the corporate sales sector, is slipping out of the corporate buy pattern. Companies are tending to concentrate on the overseas name brands, according to other sources.

Compaq New Zealand general manager Robin Paterson was unaware of last week’s meeting when contacted by Computerword.

The meeting arose because Toshiba is now understood to be going direct to market, Southmark and Digital are believed to be splitting over Digital’s plans to go direct, and the Compaq distributors are concerned that Compaq will follow the same model.

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