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By | Jan Libbenga 31st May 2007 15:30

Dell's channel shake-up ripples across to Europe

'Not an open system'

Dell is considering an authorised resellers program for Europe, after taking the plunge into the channel in the US.

"We haven't made any decisions yet, but Dell in general is entering a more differentiated strategy, in which the company will respond more directly to customer needs," Rainer Von Mielecki, communications director EMEA told a group of journalists yesterday at a press meeting at Chandler's Cross in Hertfordshire.

The direct sales icon surprised many recently by announcing it is turning to retail stores and resellers in a bid to boost both consumer and small business sales. Retail sales through Wal-Mart and Best Buy helped HP's revenue grow 13 percent last quarter.

As for resellers, Dell's Von Mielecki said that his company already worked with resellers, in particular in Eastern Europe. "For many years we were a preferred hardware supplier to the reseller channel, simply because we offered the best prices. In Russia and Turkey resellers play a big part in Dell's business, because there isn't always an infrastructure in place for direct sales."

However, Dell will not abandon its direct sales strategy. "We will put a formal reseller program in place," Von Mielecki said. "But it probably won't be a wide open program where everyone can join. We will continue with the same partners we had before."

Dell was less clear about its retail plans. The company has a couple of kiosks in the US, where a selection of products are on display, but where customers still have to purchase online or order by phone.

"We are experimenting," public affairs manager Jess Blackburn emphasised.

Dell yesterday announced the availability of standards-based virtualisation services and solutions for companies in Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

"Also not a new area for us," Francois Argouges, Director of Dell's Infrastructure Consulting Services EMEA, said yesterday.

Argouges says that many customers prefer Dell over other solutions "because we are vendor agnostic. We work with best of breed strategic partners including VMware, Microsoft, Redhat and Novell/Suse, but none of these partnerships are exclusive."

The company also announced that customers in EMEA will soon be able to benefit from services that will assist in shaping their approach to a Windows Vista migration. More details to follow later on in the year.®

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