Palm is hoping that its latest approach to the channel will buoy up the flagging handheld market and help it break into untapped markets.
The vendor is gearing up to launch its new Business Solutions Alliance Programme in September, and wants to recruit an additional 3,000 resellers across Europe, particularly in the SME email and messaging space.
Palm has teamed up with mobility software vendor Visto to offer the channel a hosted email product for a handheld device through its three UK distributors, Hugh Symons, Computer 2000 and Ingram Micro.
It is also looking at ways to push its products in the lucrative health and education sectors.
"We want to get the message across that Palm products are not just PDAs, but solutions that can be used in everyday business," said Roger Baskerville, director of business markets and alliances EMEA at Palm.
According to research by IDC, the worldwide market for handheld devices fell by 10.7 per cent in the second quarter of 2003, compared with last year, due to sluggish business and consumer demand.
However, IDC said that Palm maintained its top spot, holding on to just under 40 per cent market share.
"We want to get the message out to resellers that there are plenty of reasons to engage with Palm," Baskerville said.
He added that all resellers will be provided with marketing funds and support.
Dan Betton, marketing director at Hugh Symons, said: "Palm's new enterprise team in the UK is aware that it needs to engage more with the channel.
"Palm is gaining market share and recognises that this is a result of what the channel can do for it."
Betton added that Palm has realised that the market is about applications and what can be done with them, rather than just hardware.
"We are seeing a commitment from Palm to do this, and the fact that it is focusing on its own core competencies helps us as well," he said.
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