The PC division of Olivetti in the UK has unveiled its channel strategy for the rest of 1996 and hopes to recruit a bevy of corporate resellers by year end.
Paul Mahoney, general manager of Olivetti UK, said: 'In January this year we reduced our 1,000 corporate accounts to less than 120. We were more interested in being a systems integrator. We didn't know any corporate resellers and we didn't know that market.'
He said Olivetti had hired Mike Herman, an ex-Siemens employee, to talk to a range of corporate resellers. 'We made a dramatic statement that we would give up those 1,000 accounts to corporate resellers, asking them how they would like to sell Olivetti machines into those accounts.
'We have now set up a process where we are asking the resellers if this will fit into their business plan.'
Olivetti UK will have that arm of its channel strategy in place by January 1997, Mahoney said, while its other business would mostly sell through the two-tier distribution channel.
But he refused to be drawn on which resellers Olivetti was talking to except Systems International and City-based Resolution Systems. Other relationships, he said, were under non-disclosure agreements.
Mahoney said that Olivetti's notebook business was booming and that Portable had not dropped Olivetti as a notebook distributor, as some rivals had alleged. Portable will push further into the market this September, he said.
Olivetti's existing notebook distributors wanted exclusivity, he claimed.
'We have to balance this because we have to cover the whole market. Some would like less notebook distributors but we think we have a fair balance.'
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