Major IT vendors fail to offer adequate business support or delivery efficiency to their European distributors, according to research firm IDC.
This was the verdict of a survey by the company, which asked 100 top European distributors, integrators and large PC dealers to rate 20 major hardware and software suppliers on nine aspects of their channel relationship.
In the product delivery and business support categories, distributors rated none of the vendors. ?Above all, this study highlights their growing concern about poor delivery performance and inadequate support ? two smouldering issues that market leaders have begun to address, but not yet resolved,? said senior research analyst Brian Pierce.
Some vendors will be disappointed. Olivetti was discounted as a market leader, even in its native Italy, but is rated for the marketing support it gives its channel partners. And although distributors praised the strength of Sun?s Java and network computer marketing campaigns, it is still generally regarded as a ?big fish in a small pond?, said the report.
Netscape is perceived as a clear front runner in its sector and also high in product reliability. But the channel was less impressed with its technical and marketing support.
Microsoft, by contrast, was rated lowest for product reliability, but is the top vendor for advertising efforts, according to the survey.
Compaq?s strength is seen as marketing support, where it tied for top rating with the otherwise low-graded Olivetti. But Compaq had one of the lowest ratings for assisting channel partners.
IBM and Digital were joint leaders for breadth and quality of product range, and Digital was the only vendor to get two first places, also coming top in technical support. But IBM fell down on product delivery and margins.
The top performer for product reliability was judged to be Siemens Nixdorf, while storage maker Conner (now part of Seagate) scored highest on value for money.
?The distributors exhibit a tendency to judge vendors more as a function of the number of actions undertaken than by the quality of those actions,? said Pierce, commenting on the findings.
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