Hewlett-Packard's biggest reseller, Leading Solutions, appears to have hit the jackpot with the rollout of the direct-selling Online Store -- part of HP's "hybrid business model" (see ARN June 9, page 1 ).
Chris Greig, general manager of HP Australia's Commercial Channels Organisation, has indicated orders will be fulfilled by the channel.
However, it is understood orders will be exclusively fulfilled by Leading Solutions for at least the first six months of Online Store's operation.
Frank Colli, managing director of Leading Solutions (the only all-HP reseller in the Australian channel), this week revealed part of HP's plan -- in which it will compete with the direct-sales model pushed by competitors such as Dell.
"Because it doesn't have the fulfilment infrastructure, but for the channel, HP will take the orders via the new Web site and use its resellers to fulfil it," Colli said.
When asked if the Online Store will cannibalise the existing business of the channel, Colli said he'd bet his business that it won't -- and he has. "The customers who will order from the Web site already know what they want, so this does not compete with the business generated via a full-service, value-adding reseller," he said.
Although Colli said he was limited by how much he can reveal, he expects the site to be launched on June 29 with a review of the model to be completed after the six-month trial period.
Colli does not expect the Leading Solutions arrangement to remain exclusive. He told ARN that HP will harness the support of its other channel partners with the means to develop their online ordering system into a satisfactory fulfilment system.
When asked to respond to Colli's comments, a spokesperson for the vendor would only say that a "significant initiative will be revealed by Hewlett-Packard in the next few weeks".