Digital Systems will push resellers out of its directly sourcing tier by January as general manager James Stevenson enforces a rejig of the division's channel policy.
Stevenson refused to name any resellers under threat but ESS will leave the group when accreditation is updated in January. It is set to be replaced by Planet Online, its ISP sister company, despite rumours that it is likely to be completely dropped from the tier.
'Digital is at loggerheads with ESS,' one source said. 'They are taking business from other dealers and not fulfilling the criteria set out for resellers.'
Another source said: 'They say (ESS sales director) Les Leszczuk is a very strong manager and Digital has no problem with ESS selling Compaq, but the criteria for being a Digital reseller are tough.'
Leszczuk claimed his company will not become an indirectly sourcing Var.
'We are one of just three fulfilling Digital's reseller criteria,' he said.
Digital Systems has said for months that it wants to remove some of its nine resellers from the direct tier and pass their business to distributors Datech 2000 and Metrologie. Stevenson admitted: 'The number will be reduced slightly, soon. We are talking to people and they will make their own decisions. Some don't quite fit the (directly sourcing) reseller mould.'
The other direct resellers are Anite Systems, CSF, Hamilton, Hawke Systems, Keltec, P&P, Paramount and Progress.
Stevenson wants to increase the number of Digital Systems application Vars and SIs and conceded that Digital's channels policy has led it to lose touch with about 150 customers since it gave dealers many of its accounts early last year. 'We have re-opened that communication. We expect most of that business to be done indirectly but owned by Digital.'
Since his arrival from Hewlett Packard in July, Stevenson has increased sales targets. He also took responsibility for Digital's storage and technical OEM arms this month.
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