IBM's high-end Vars have criticised the manufacturer's decision to offer a previously restricted AS/400 model to the rest of the channel.
The move, which was announced last week, means that the AS/400e 720 - originally released in February - can now be purchased by any IBM AS/400 reseller.
The 720 is the most basic model in the 7XX series of AS/400s, which includes the 730 and 740, but was only available to a select group of resellers.
The move to open the 720 to more resellers was prompted by the initial success of the model, with IBM seeing the opportunity to rapidly expand its AS/400 customer base.
But many of the resellers who were previously qualified to sell the 7XX series are now worried about the increased competition for contracts, lower margin on product sales, and angered by the apparent waste of time and money expended to attain accreditation.
'I'm not happy with IBM,' said one reseller. 'We worked long and hard to get the accreditation to sell the 720, 730 and 740. We have been doing so for just over a month, and suddenly we find that anyone can sell them.'
Another reseller added: 'It's a nightmare scenario. While we still believe we can win the contracts, margins will have to be slashed due to the sheer number of players that will appear in the market.'
The 720 is available for the first time through distribution and many of the high-end resellers are now trying to avoid buying direct from IBM wherever possible.
Richard Charnock, AS/400 business development manager at distributor Hallmark, said: 'Many of those who previously bought the product direct from IBM are now looking to migrate to distribution. It makes for a much cleaner channel and we have already had interest from a number of high-end resellers.'
IBM was unavailable for comment.
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