Hardware vendor NEC Computers will appoint a broadline distributor for the first time within the next two months and will embark on a "strong recruitment plan" for resellers.
Jean-Claude Tagger, senior vice-president sales and marketing of the professional division at NEC, said the firm is currently in discussions with both ETC and Westcoast.
"We have been recruiting resellers for a while now, but we want to add some structure to our channel, and this is where the new distributor will help us," Tagger said.
The firm appointed Hammer exclusively for its storage range last month, but is looking for a new distributor to handle its volume business, such as desktops and notebooks.
Tagger said a full channel programme would begin in October, and will be known as Euro ConNECtion. The firm will deal with large corporate resellers directly.
"We will have 50 or so top-tier partners that will receive certification, rebates, and extra kit, but we are not limiting the number of other tiered partners we have," he said.
Tagger said the top partners would have to be committed to NEC. "We don't want to be one of five big vendors with a partner. We want to be its preferred supplier," he said.
However, Greg Carlow, managing direct of VAR Repton, said the market was tough and NEC would find it hard to get traction.
"It's up against Hewlett Packard, IBM, the Unix guys and Dell; that's a tough market. It would be like trying to displace Beckham from Real Madrid," he said.
Matt Milnes, purchasing manager at VAR Phoenix, agreed that it was a tough market. But he said: "NEC has a strong brand worldwide, and hasn't fully capitalised on this. Now it is trying to change this by appointing the right partners."
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