Channel play proves the clincher

Channel play proves the clincher

Acer has continued a government tender hot streak by scoring a $3 million deal with integration partner, Commander, to provide desktop PCs to the NSW Police Department.

The latest contract, signed earlier this month, will see the pair roll out 3000 PCs across the state. Delivery will start this week, with the majority of computers expected to be in place by August 1.

Acer national government sales manager, Nick Hillier, stressed the importance of the channel's role in the win.

He said the vendor had been up against a list of direct sales competitors including IBM, HP, Dell and Optima.

Acer NSW government business development manager, Ronnie Aron, said Commander had superior coverage in regional areas, making it the best choice for the deal.

As well as installing the PCs, the integrator would also be required to recover old equipment from the branches and dispose of it accordingly. Commander NSW enterprise manager, Frank Falcone, said the deal was a significant opportunity for it to enlarge its government presence. The integrator had not previously worked with the NSW Police, having derived the majority of its business in that state with the Department of Education and the Department of Health, he said.

"This gives us a better footing in NSW from the government perspective," Falcone said.

Commander had worked with Acer to devise a bid for the contract, he said, and would be responsible for installation. The contract includes the provision of three configurations of desktop PCs, with varying specifications including a range of screen sizes, DVD burning capabilities and processing and memory capacity.

The deal had largely been secured because of the ability to fulfill it in a short period of time, Aron said. The vendor also had existing relationships with police departments in WA and Queensland.

Aron said the initial rollout was the first stage of a potential four-year PC supply contract with the NSW Police. The department maintained a total installed base of about 11,500 PCs.

Acer was confident of securing the contract for the full four-year term as the NSW Police would not be re-issuing a public tender document, Aron said.

Incumbent PC supplier, Optima, has supplied the majority of the contract for several years.

Chairman and managing director, Cornel Ung, said it was finding it increasingly difficult to compete against the hardware pricing of its larger rivals.

"If vendors continue to sell at unbelievable price-points, we will have difficulty sustaining PC supplies in the long-term," he said. "It makes it difficult to have a long-term relationship."

Ung said the vendor was hoping to announce a new contract with a NSW government department in the coming weeks and would be utilising a reseller to assist with the services component.

Optima suffered another setback recently when it lost out on a similar Department of Defence deal to HP and Acer. Under this contract, Acer would provide the majority of desktops and all PDA devices, Hillier said. The vendor would fulfill the contract in conjunction with integration partners, Commander and Dataflex.

Acer also renewed a contract with the WA Department of Education and Training in March to supply 16,000 notebooks to public school teachers. The contract, which included local reseller Winthrop, was valued at $27 million.

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