Acer partners miss out in massive notebook deal

Acer 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, its 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.

According to Aaron Blackman, marketing manager for portable PCs at Acer Computer Australia, the quality of Acer hardware and the value of its total service solution were the keys to the company's successful bid.

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 - whom 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."

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

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 a 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.

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

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

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