Despite recently revamping its entire channel structure, PC vendor Acer last month signed another direct deal with Telstra that is reputed to be one of the largest ever PC supplier contracts in Australia.
Acer will reap $80 million over two years with an option for a third year blowing the deal out to $140 million for the supply of about 18,000 PCs and 10,000 notebooks a year for Telstra's office automation expansion.
Four other vendors will participate in the contract, with Ipex and Compaq to provide PCs and Toshiba and IBM to supply notebooks.
In a continuation of Acer's 1998 contract with Telstra to provide it with PCs, Acer is the only vendor to be represented on both PC and mobile panels, according to Charles Chung, marketing manager for Acer.
Chung attributes Acer's ongoing success to its products, after-sales service and total management expertise.
However, he explained that Telstra was not looking for any value add on the products Acer intended to roll out, cutting the channel out of the equation.
`Telstra just wanted a good price. They can do all the installation and networking themselves so the tender basically said they wanted a direct relationship,' Chung said.
To placate its reseller partners, Chung promised that any after-sales services would be routed through its channel.
However, just as with Acer's direct deal with the Victorian Government and its previous deal with Telstra, the number of resellers to garner any benefit from the contract will be limited.
In this case it is only Getronics that will be responsible for any after-sales service, of which Chung is hoping there will be little needed. `This service will only be needed if something goes wrong with our products, which we hope won't happen,' he said.