Thin client vendor NCD has developed a new channel strategy in response to mounting competition.
David Perry, director of worldwide marketing at the company, stressed that pressure from large vendors has moved the thin client market beyond simple box shifting.
"The honeymoon for hardware margins in the thin client space is over; value-add is more important. Compaq and Dell have entered the market, and this has put the squeeze on the channel," he said.
John Brenkley, of reseller Corporate IT, said: "We haven't had so much competition from Dell. They're direct, so you really don't see them until they're there. As for Compaq, the product is not competitive. Until they improve its reliability, anyone interested in buying it is asking for trouble. I don't like to sell my customers problems."
Perry suggested that resellers should move into the software space and into services, where the margins are better. "Our strategy is to emphasise tools and resource-based offerings. There will be a massive thrust for software in this space," he said.
As part of this restructuring, NCD has announced the Diamond Programme, which includes sales and commercial support from the NCD sales team, preferential purchasing conditions and a demo-unit loan scheme.
It also promises technical support over the phone, a regular update with critical debugs, monthly training sessions and a newsletter for resellers and their customers. Lead-generation direct mail and marketing campaigns and incentive schemes are also planned.
Brenkley said of the new strategy: "This is a very good step. It's basically making both sides proactive when it comes to customers."
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