Ambitious VAR Probrand has snatched a five-figure public sector education contract away from Dell and is on the verge of becoming the first SME supplier to secure a government ‘best practice’ accreditation.
The VAR, which is a Lot One reseller on the government’s Catalist procurement list, has developed a public sector procurement tool called theitindex.co.uk/gov, which provides product information and pricing on more than 1,200 manufacturers based on current availability in the UK.
Probrand used the tool to encourage Coventry Council’s Woodway Park School to switch from Dell to Hewlett-Packard (HP) and saved it 35 per cent on the overall order.
Stephen Bushell, group head of new business at Probrand, told CRN: “Our procurement solution is accredited by both the government and the Institute of Chartered Accountants and this is the first of many contracts we hope it can win for Probrand. It gave us the ability as a reseller to have a conversation with the school and convince them to switch from Dell and helped them save money that will be invested back into the school. It also gave HP the opportunity to discuss business directly with a Dell account.”
However, Bushell said the tool is not targeting Dell specifically, particularly if the vendor does decide to work with the channel, as hinted by chief executive Michael Dell earlier this month.
“It could be seen as a ‘Dell-busting’ tool, but if Dell is willing to be part of the channel we wouldn’t throw them out,” he said. “We are willing to work with any organisation that understands the value of working with resellers.”
Deborah Brown, resources manager at Woodway Park School, said: “Much of our system is Dell based, but the tool demonstrated to us that HP provided a better cost, availability and specification match.”
Dell declined to comment, saying that it “did not comment on contract wins”.
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