IBM launched a series of measures this week to strengthen the position of its network channel partners and increase the potential for adding value. The company is now going exclusively through three distributors ? Azlan, Northamber and Ingram Micro. But IBM network computer channel manager David Steventon said Big Blue had identified some areas not fully serviced by these companies and was seeking specialist sub-distributors to fill the gaps. These measures are intended to not only improve existing customer relations but also to attract more customers. IBM will provide marketing collateral and support as well as education and training programmes and a number of leasing options. It will provide dealers with a bonus of about #600 for the first installation of a server and five workstations into a company. It is bundling products together so a customer buying a Risc processor will get five free workstations. Leasing and financing packages are also available. Steventon claimed IBM was keen to involve its partners in larger deals where it had been the traditional point of contact. He said IBM was pleased with its coverage of small and medium businesses but was keen to improve reseller relations with large businesses. He said the manufacturer wanted to use its traditional strength with large accounts as an entry point for its partners.
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