Direct-selling Dell came clean about its UK services channel last week as it emerged that it was number two in PC sales through corporate VARs, some of which it has deliberately recruited.
Dell has insisted it only sells direct. But in September, corporate resellers in the UK sold more PCs by Dell than by any other vendor bar Hewlett-Packard (HP), according to data collected by market research firm Context.
Almost one-quarter of UK resellers admitted selling Dell in another Context survey, while eight per cent said the firm had "actively canvassed" them. These resellers typically sell services as part of a hardware deal.
Josh Claman, vice-president of services at Dell EMEA, said it has expanded its services offering by sub-contracting to local service partners.
"We have a supply chain of various niche partners. We sell the services and programme and project-manage it," he said.
"We have a direct relationship with the customer and our supply chain is in the back end."
Getronics and Unisys already provide official support for Dell's PC sales. But it has also recruited 36 niche partners across Europe and put them in a services accreditation programme.
Phil Garnar, director at channel consultancy the Lamberhurst Corporation, said: "Dell managed to convince Wall Street in the late 1990s that it sold only direct and that other PC vendors ran inefficient indirect models.
"Wall Street swallowed the story hook, line and sinker, while HP has failed to convince them of the value in the reseller model."
Claman said: "We work with VARs that truly add value and are not just reselling a system."
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