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Dell’s competitors stand firm

HP Canada and VAD partner Avnet say they won't cede an inch to the newcomer

As Dell announces its long-awaited channel program, the competition is expressing confidence their own legacy and long-term commitment to the channel will carry the day.

Dave Frederickson, vice-president of the solution partners organization at HP Canada, said that Dell’s channel program will be hard to match against current programs that have been available for a long time. The other challenge a direct organization would have, he says, would be to balance a significant direct business with new indirect opportunities.

“They were advocating cutting out the middle man in ads not too long ago. I would like to think that partners do not have short memories and wouldn’t just completely warm up to Dell,” Frederickson said.

A skeptical approach is also being adopted by Phoenix, Ariz.-based Avnet Technology Solutions, a major value-added distributor partner of HP. Rick Alvarez, vice-president and general manager of the HP Solutions group, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, says Dell is an excellent company with good products, but he’ll have to wait and see how effective their channel play would be.

“This may be a reaction to the great success HP is having by taking the market leadership position with their ProLiant product set, and I don’t see HP giving an inch really,” said Alzarez. “(HP is) focused, their VARs are very focused, and they have a lot of momentum. But it will sure be interesting to see what comes out of Austin and how well they do.”

Having said all that, HP Canada will not be leaving things to chance. Frederickson, in anticipation of a Dell channel program, is implementing a new plan based on mutual profitability, growth and closer working relationships with partners.

“We will pay partners well when they hit targets and we will pay more money when they go after competitive accounts,” he said.