IBM has pushed resellers out of the revenue loop of its Advanced rob resellers of revenue and services. Fulfilment Initiative (AFI), as it bit the bullet and returned to selling direct in response to falling market share and the success of Dell in the PC server market.
IBM launched its Netfinity Direct initiative worldwide last week, in a bid to sell Intel-based servers direct to corporates. The manufacturer also plans to sell PCs and laptops on the back of direct sales.
In a statement, Bill McCracken, general manager of IBM's personal systems group, added that the move was also an opportunity for customers to decide how they wanted software, service and support to be sold to them. 'This is not just to be confused with Dell or Gateway or those folks,' he said.
Speaking to PC Dealer, Vince Smith, IBM PSG marketing programmes manager in the UK, conceded that 'business partners will lose the revenue associated with fulfilment'.
Before the decision, resellers were involved in finding corporate business. In cases where fulfilment was passed onto IBM to ship direct, they were paid a fee for generating the original sale. This now stands to be lost. However, Smith claimed resellers would still be eligible for 'associated business', such as networking and other support.
Smith claimed Netfinity Direct was a US-based decision pitched at prospective customers rather than existing ones. However, the official statement published by IBM on 5 June stated: 'Depending on their requirements, customers may now qualify to have Netfinity fulfilled and supported by IBM directly or continue to have these offerings delivered by an IBM reseller.'
Also, procurement policies of multi-national customers within the UK may well mirror those made in the US, something which will eat directly into reseller's market opportunities.
Phil Williams, head of corporate marketing at Computacenter, IBM's biggest UK reseller, declined to comment until the company had held a meeting with IBM to discuss the matter.
Martin Clarke, sales and marketing manager at IBM reseller Lapland UK, said: 'Direct again. When will it learn? It has realised the value of the channel before and will come back. It usually does.'
Outsourcer says the size of the operation should be considered before criticising the error that affected 43,000 women
Vendor says a range of its products will be made SD-WAN compatible, with traditional networking 'completely under disruption'
With just a day to go until the 25th annual Channel Awards, we catch up with the SMB Reseller of the Year category sponsor Exertis, to find out why the sector is such a vital part of its business strategy
Analyst predicts spending on Robotic Process Automation will rise XX per cent next year, driven by price decreases