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By | Kelly Fiveash 15th April 2008 11:00

Computacenter snubs Dell in SME hunt

Stays in bed with HP

Computacenter has rejected the possibility of adding Dell to its vendor lineup as it launched a revamped effort to reel in SME customers yesterday.

Computacenter e-business director James Pelham-Burn told The Register that the company will continue working with all the “normal vendors” such as HP with whom the reseller has fostered a cosy, long-term relationship, but added that it was in no hurry to start selling recent channel convert Dell.

He said: “I think Dell has recognised the value that the indirect channel brings to customers and they’ve recognised that they absolutely have to play there. You know their growth stalled and they found that there was a natural limit on what people were willing to buy.

“And I have to say that the indirect channel and the manufacturers have really stepped up their game in response to the challenge that Dell provided.”

Pelham-Burn and the rest of the Computacenter management team are undoubtedly keen to keep things sweet with HP, which is seen as an essential player in the reseller’s latest attempt to woo the small and medium-sized (SMB) market, a space the firm has struggled to penetrate in the past.

Underlining that desire to squeeze more cash out of the little people, Computacenter yesterday launched a new web-based IT purchasing tool dubbed Computacenter Express, which is squarely targeted at the UK SMB space.

“Hewlett-Packard is certainly a leading partner for us and we work with them extensively in the large corporate space," said Pelham-Burn. "We will see them as a natural partner in moving further into the SMB marketplace.”

He admitted that in the past the firm, which has historically focused on the larger end of the market, has failed to make significant inroads into the SMB space. Computacenter has “refined” its approach, he said, by offering a tailored product supply and procurement package.

On launching a new SMB strategy amid looming recession concerns, he told us:

“Particularly at the very small end of the market Computacenter doesn’t have a huge market share, so it’s not like we have an existing business which will be really negatively hit in that space by a decline in the economy.

"If anything it’s an opportunity for us to pick up business from people and examine their supplier relationships very carefully.” ®

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