Acer channel partners miss out in massive notebook deal

Acer channel partners miss out in massive notebook deal

While Acer is rejoicing after winning a $67 million deal to supply 37,000 notebooks to the Victorian Government last week, it's channel's involvement is likely to be token.

Starting next month, the Victorian Department of Education plans to provide every public school teacher with an Acer Extensa 500T notebook PC, expecting to complete the initiative within the next five years.

The deal is believed to be the largest tender in the history of Australian education and the second largest tender for laptop computers in the world.

Acer is now facing a five-year implementation process but despite the extent of the deal, channel involvement will be minimal.

"Currently, we have a strategic arrangement with four particular organisations - CHA, Gsat, Learning Technology Australia and Xircom -that we selected through a lengthy filtering process on the basis of their ability to comply with and integrate the department's specifications on system requirements," Aaron Blackman, marketing manager for portable PCs at Acer Computer Australia,"The size of this project is enormous - it is probably the single largest integration that has ever occurred in Australia and, as a single organisation, we will need to involve our channel partners in the rollout in order to meet our deadlines," Blackman told ARN.

Channel role minimal

However ARN has learnt that the channel's main role will be in the supply of components and maintenance services.

Nevertheless CHA, who has been an Acer partner for a number of years, is delighted with the opportunity to participate in the deal by supplying Acer with modems as part of the package.

"It is a good deal for us, mainly because it's going to give us a reputation as it involves working with the Victorian Government," Roger Bushell, CHA's managing director, said.

According to Blackman, the quality of Acer hardware and the value of its total service solution were the keys to the company's successful bid.

For Acer, who recently supplied around 2500 notebooks to the Department of Social Security and Centrelink, the deal is a part of a successful campaign to expand its Federal industry development programs by winning government business.

"These computers are vital components of the Government's strategy to expand the use of information technology and multimedia in the delivery of curricula to our students," Victorian Minister for Education, Phil Gude, said.

The 37,000 notebook PCs deal is expected to propel Acer into the 3rd position on the list of Australia's top laptop distributors.

Apple Australia was also chosen to supply hardware as part of the deal.

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