Channel players in the SME space should brace themselves for a bloodbath, according to corporate VAR Computacenter, which has announced aggressive plans to push further into the SME space and "go head to head with Dixons".
Speaking at the annual Regent Conference in London last week, Mike Norris, chief executive of Computacenter, said: "The SME marketplace has matured. We are starting to make significant moves into this area and are coming down from the corporate space.
"The level of technical expertise [among SMEs] is a lot higher now and there is less handholding required."
Norris added that the SME channel is "ripe for consolidation" in 2005.
"There are a lot of £50m to £100m resellers out there that will die. We will have a fantastic battle with Dixons and everybody else will be carnage," he claimed.
Richard Holway, director at Ovum, said: "Although SMEs make up a large percentage of the IT spend, the amount they spend on services is minute. Most SMEs will buy out of the box and install the products themselves, and it is on price that we will see the real bloodbath.
"Computacenter will have difficulty in boosting its service revenue in this space."
However, Norris was quick to point out that his SME push will include only products that carry a 'stock code' with limited packaged services.
Derek Lloyd, managing director of PC World Business, the reseller arm of Dixons, said: "We are also seeing that the market is consolidating. We are in this for the long term, and are dedicated to servicing all SMEs by providing them with technical expertise and support."
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