Acer is to go head-to-head with whitebox players as it battles for the number one position in the SMB space.
The vendor has announced a new initiative, Margin Max, which aims to boost reseller incentives to customise PCs and servers by rewarding upgrades with increased margin.
The scheme will give resellers a one per cent overall margin on upgrades made through its APeC or AcerLink online systems worth $100 on PCs, and $200 on servers. Margins then increase by one per cent for each additional $100 in upgrades.
Marketing director, Raymond Vardanega, said while its government, education, corporate and retail businesses had been strong, SMB sales required effort.
The potential to triple margins was a way of moving resellers towards customising systems for this market sector, he said.
"Our goal is to be the number one vendor in SMB by 2007 and to do that we know we need to address the whitebox market," Vardanega said.
While customisation was a distinct feature of the consumer market, SMBs also desired the ability to mix and match, Vardanega said.
"Whiteboxes are still doing well in SMB as that market cares about having a particular specification," he said. "A company may well have a different definition of a product for sales, back-end and finance groups."
Margin Max would also be the first step in Acer's growing SMB strategy, Vardanega said.
Acer launched a similar initiative in mid-2004 that was also aimed at boosting upgrades margin, but Vardanega said Margin Max provided additional rebates.
"This is a multiple step, $100 increment, approach as opposed to simply getting passed a certain point then gaining a single percentage," he said. "This is far more generous than before."
The initiative was also an admission that whiteboxes had the potential to offer more margin to resellers than branded product, Vardanega said.
"Resellers who are able to build their own machine typically earn more margin as they add more features," he said. "What we are saying is that resellers still gain the benefit of building their own box, but with the confidence and support of a global brand."