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Why one VAR will listen to Dell

Unis Lumin president says he is interested in Dell's channel plans

While the Canadian IT channel is taking a wait and see approach to Dell’s channel program, there is at least one top solution provider who will consider the offering from the predominantly direct vendor.

Glenn Mowat, president of Unis Lumin, told CDN at the Velocity Channel Marketing Conference in Miami yesterday that there are two major reasons for investigating Dell’s channel program if you are a solution provider in Canada.

Mowat believes that unified communications convergence will happen on the desktop. “That is my belief and we are going in that direction. We believe it is coming together at the desktop,” he said.

Dell is a huge player in the desktop space and because of that Unis Lumin will take a look at the channel program. Dell has not yet called Mowat for a briefing.

“They have not played with us (the channel) so you have to investigate it. They have a lot of brand loyalty. We buy Dell and we are a classic SMB company. A lot of people buy Dell and what we have to see is how it will all work with the convergence stuff,” he said.

The second reason is that Dell has the potential to be a market changer in the services area, according to Mowat.

At this point in time, Mowat does not know what that is from Dell. He added that if it is the same old model than no one will care.

“But, they have the potential and if they want brand loyalty from the channel, as a new player coming to market, then they have to change the market,” he said.

Unis Lumin’s strategy as a unified communications solutions provider is based on the desktop remaining the No. 1 source for worker interaction.

Mowat believes that the demand for unified communications is driving desktop demand. “These fancy phones are not a great end user tool for unified communications. The PC is,” he said.

One reason for optimism for his plan is that HP Canada had a banner year in desktop PC sales, which surprised even HP.

Mowat added that mobile devices offer very little in terms of application capacity and therefore is not a great interface for unified communications.

“How many real apps are you going to get on a smart phone in the next five years? Email, phone calls, a few notes, but where are the business changing apps that can make more money for you? It will change, but for the foreseeable future I do not see it,” he said.

Mowat also doesn’t have a problem with Dell not offering back end rebates. He said that those rebates are not a factor right now.

“They way we operate for the short and the long term will depend on what Dell can drive for us. If we go down this path with Dell it will be all about what is in the overall pot,” he said.

Mowat thinks that there may come a time when Dell is forced to offer back end rebates. One way is if it does not get any channel traction. “As a business leader you have to get your cash right away. Cash is king,” he said.