Acer market results based on channel success

Nowhere is the continuing significance of the computer reseller market more apparent than in the computer display market.  I was reminded of this fact as I finalized PRC’s Q4 Computer Display Report 2006, this week.  Acer overtook PC-giant Dell in the fourth and final quarter of 2006, as it finished the quarter in first place with 21 per cent market share.  Acer could not have achieved its success were it not for the reseller channel.  Nor could Samsung have placed third, with 15 per cent market share, nor LG in fourth place, nor ViewSonic in fifth place, were it not for the reseller market.

All four vendors have individual channel commitments as a critical component of their sales strategy.  The reseller/dealer channel is the extension of their in-house sales teams.  Recognizing the important role it plays in bringing products to market, in creating and maintaining product demand, these vendors are dedicated to ensuring the health and vibrancy of the channel.

With channel programs and sales incentives in place, resellers also see the value in offering these products.  A big part of offering computer displays isn’t just the individual sale, as we know.  The revenues are found by offering a solution.  The monitor is available, and so is a PC, so is a printer and a wireless network.  The question, how can everything be put together to solve a business problem?  To improve customer service, employee relations, address ROI – by answering these questions, the solution is found.

When we look further down the Q4 monitor vendor ranking, we find Lenovo, NEC, HP, Philips and BenQ. Like the top performers, the success of these vendors is heavily weighted on their channel partners.

I’ve heard of some resellers who will encourage end-users to order products online, products from “channel-unfriendly” vendors, and then they sell the services separately.  I’ve always been slightly surprised with this tactic.  Yes, it gets – perhaps – an immediate cost-effective product into the hands of the end-user, but by building a relationship with a vendor or distributor, there is an opportunity to receive discount pricing from vendors and distributors.  By offering the total solution, there is an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships, better serve the customer and better understand their pain points.  There is also an opportunity to build relationships with distributors and vendors. The vendors want to know where their products are being installed and what solutions they are providing.  By better understanding the answers to those questions, better and more effective go-to-market strategies can be created and introduced.

Without the computer dealer/reseller channel, vendors in certain industries, such as the computer display segment, would run into roadblocks as they attempt to effectively get their product into the hands of their customers. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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