Microsoft has confirmed that it is to part ways with two distributors in the UK next year, following an intensive review of its contracts.
The lucky pair are Avnet Technology Solutions and VIP Computers, both of which had been expected to leave the stables when Microsoft put the contracts out to tender last month in a Request for Information document.
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Enterprise distie Avnet TS had access to the volume licensing and fully packaged products (FPP) while VIP had rights only to the commercial OEM line, which it carried for years.
A Microsoft mouthpiece reiterated that the firm is shifting towards "devices and services" and undertook a "global project to assess the distributors" in each region.
He confirmed that Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Westcoast will keep hold of the volume licensing biz, while the three aforementioned disties plus Micro P will also handle FPP.
Bizarrely, Enta Technology, the largest FPP distributor in the UK, no longer has that franchise, showing that Microsoft's local channel people still have the ability to make some very strange decisions indeed.
Microsoft gave no explanation for this and we are still waiting to hear more details. Don't hold your breath.
Midlands-based Enta does keep hold of the commercial OEM franchise for Windows and Server along with Ingram and Tech Data. A new commercial OEM server only category was handed to Micro P and Westcoast.
Avnet inherited the Microsoft line when it acquired Bell Microproducts, and in a statement indicated that the software giant was not core to its business in the UK.
In a wonderful example of corporate-speak, Avnet stated:
"Avnet is committed to supporting growth with its business partners through a focus on driving high value solutions. Following conversations with Microsoft it has become apparent that this focus does not align with Microsoft’s strategy to be a devices-led organisation. We will work closely with our business partners and Microsoft to ensure a smooth transition of the business."
VIP and Enta were not available to comment. ®