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Dell inks two Canadian distribution deals

Former direct vendor to offer limited products through Ingram Micro and Tech Data

Greg Davis, Dell’s (Nasdaq: DELL) worldwide channel chief, was always lukewarm to the idea of working with distribution. Not anymore!

Davis, inked not one but two distribution deals yesterday claiming that partner feedback led him in this new direction.

Selected Dell products will now be made available at Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Both Canadian operations will have Dell product available to the channel sometime this spring, according to sources.

One of those products is the much hyped SMB notebook Vostro.

Dell’s distribution agreements will be part of its global PartnerDirect program, which has more than 35,000 registered partners in 148 countries. Currently there are just under 1,400 Canadian partners who are part of the program.

Davis, who is travelling and was not available for comment, indicated through a prepared statement that speed to market was one reason for signing up with Ingram and Tech Data.

“We’ve been making more Dell products available in more ways to more customers around the world, and these new relationships deliver further on that goal, in the process helping partners most effectively meet the needs of their customers, deliver value and grow their businesses,” said Davis, the vice president and general manager, Dell’s Global Commercial Channels. “Our partners value Dell’s ability to custom configure IT, but they’re telling us there are times when customers’ needs are more urgent, and this agreement shows our commitment to act on feedback from partners.”

Future plans call for expanding the range of products to be made available at Ingram and Tech Data.

Pricing was another issue that Dell ironed out before signing with the two distributors. Dell systems through distributors will be competitively priced with similar products that can be attained directly from Dell. This will give partners some flexibility in obtaining Dell products for customer solutions.

No word yet on if distribution will take on any of Dell’s build-to-order tasks, which was a big part of the PartnerDirect program.

Ken Lamneck, Tech Data’s Americas president, said that Dell is responding to the same input we’ve received from our reseller customers.

“Resellers have told us there is strong end-user demand for Dell products, and that the easiest, most cost-effective way for them to capitalize on that demand is to source all their IT solutions–including Dell–through Tech Data. All Dell partners doing business with Tech Data will have access to our entire solutions offering and extensive services, including billions in credit capacity, best-in-class e-business tools and technical training.”

Keith Bradley, president, Ingram Micro North America, said this agreement gives Ingram customers greater choice, allowing them access to Dell’s products along with Ingram Micro’s financial strength and selection of complementary products and services.