The channel has expressed mixed feelings about Great Deals, an IT hardware sourcing initiative from the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), which could see competition increase over already squeezed hardware margins.
OGCbuying.solutions, the buying arm of the OGC, claimed Great Deals is designed to allow the public sector to buy IT hardware at discounts of up to 45 per cent.
An OGCbuying.solutions representative said: “The public sector will benefit from the availability of cheap prices. OGCbuying.solutions intends to run the promotions on a quarterly basis, although the product mix is likely to vary with each promotion.”
Great Deals has selected 17 pre-approved suppliers to take part in the initiative. They include a mix of vendors and resellers, including Centerprise International, Computacenter, European Electronique and Dell.
Public-sector bodies will be offered ‘IT Special Offers’ on hardware. These offers will carry pre-approved prices from each of the 17 suppliers and be valid for a period of 90 days.
For example, OGCbuying.solutions said Great Deals will help the public sector buy laptops for about £430 and desktops for about £280.
Suppliers will also be able to provide a range of services, including extended warranty periods, removal of old equipment and delivery.
A source that asked to remain anonymous told CRN: “Typically, these deals see suppliers offer equipment to the public sector that’s been gained through a big discount from the vendor. The vendor usually absorbs most of the discount in return for market share in the public sector.”
Gareth Evans, public-sector sales manager at Great Deals supplier Evesham Technology, told CRN: “Margins are extremely tight and we hope to make it back through services. However, we do have maximum visibility as a result of this deal.”
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