Dell has brought on its first two distributors in the US and flagged plans to extend the model globally. The news came off the back of the launch of a new enterprise product series.
The traditionally direct PC vendor appointed Ingram Micro and Tech Data to sell its SMB-oriented Vostro desktop and notebooks to the wider channel. The products will be available through both distributors in the US effective immediately, and in Canada later this year. The vendor plans to release more products through distribution in the coming weeks.
In a statement, vice-president and general manager of Dell’s commercial channels, Greg Davis, said distribution would allow partners to access products in more ways, while also giving Dell better speed to market. He added systems would be made available at competitive prices with similar products available directly.
“Our partners value Dell’s ability to customer confi gure IT, but they’re telling us there are times when customers’ needs are more urgent, and this agreement shows our commitment to act on feedback from partners,” he said. A Dell Australia spokesperson said there were no plans to introduce distribution locally at this time.
“When we launched our PartnerDirect program in Australia, we said we were not looking at distribution because we were looking to build strong direct relationships with resellers,” he said. The decision issues a challenge to its channel-friendly rival, HP, which is distributed locally by Ingram Micro, Dicker Data and Synnex.
Ingram Micro president of North America, Keith Bradley, said the deal gave its customers more choice, while recognising its broad market presence and ability to drive demand.
Local vice-president, Jay Miley, said there was no intention at this stage to partner with Dell locally. He added the news was a testament to the strength of the channel as a route to market.
Dell’s initiation to the Australian channel began last year, with the official launch of its official partner program, PartnerDirect, in September. The PC vendor also took its fi rst steps in retail, appointing OfficeWorks in May last year, followed by The Good Guys in December. The vendor claims to have 35,000 global partners.
Dell has also launched a new line of enterprise products. Five blades and servers based on the Intel Nehalem processor, fi ve enterprise storage solutions and three workstations have been released, along with a new management console.
Dell channel strategy and acquisition manager, Rob Makin, said the new products would all be available to channel partners.
“We are finding a number of partners are looking for a credible tier-one vendor that can both complement and compete with the likes of HP – we see ourselves fi lling that role,” he said.