Apple’s increased direct touch with enterprise customers is putting the vendor in competition with its channel, according to some resellers.
One reseller claimed the vendor had poached $250,000 worth of its accounts in the last 12 months.
Apple signalled its push towards direct enterprise business when it realigned its channel development team into a customer-facing professional services team, last year.
Some resellers claim that the vendor’s push to get its business development team in front of customers is coming at a cost to partners.
Apple had lured two key customers from Apple Centre Flinders Street, managing director, Steven Bardel, said. The reseller last year lost a longstanding contract with KPMG after an Apple professional services business development manager had volunteered to come in on the sale to help. A contract with Vic Roads had been lost in similar circumstances, he claimed.
The two contracts had been worth $250,000 a year.
Apple had also begun sending promotional material direct to other customers after being introduced on a sales call, he said.
“It’s getting to the point where you don’t want to involve them because there’s a chance you might lose that business,” said Bardel.
Apple’s direct sales team had also begun approaching customers of Apple Centre Taylor Square, managing director, Ben Morgan, said. “We’ve been very lucky. We’ve had multiple customers approached. But due to having extraordinarily good customer relationships, we’re confident we’ll keep them.
“The customers Apple has approached, we’ve gotten wind of it and made sure that we are there on the same day. Our attitude is that they are a competitor.”
For more on this story, including details of Apple's new margin structure, see this week's ARN.