Gateway is launching an aggressive UK partner recruitment drive in 2011 as it looks to grab a slice of the mid-market.
The vendor, which is owned by Acer, has a colourful history in the UK. It pulled out of the market in 2001, but returned in 2005 and was snapped up by Acer in 2007.
Kevin O’Donoghue (pictured), EMEA product business director at Gateway, said the vendor had learned lessons from the past.
“If you look at Gateway 10 years ago and look at us now, they are two different companies. Our focus now is the mid-market, with servers and storage, desktops and notebooks,” he said.
“We do not have a price list, but will leave it to our resellers to set prices as needed. We are taking a unique approach based on partner feedback. We will also not go direct and will not offer 100 per cent of the solution to end users – we will leave it to resellers to add value to our boxes.”
He said the vendor’s channel programme is divided into three levels: the top-level Business In First (BIF), followed by Business In partners and the lower-tier Registered. It intends to recruit a maximum of 50 BIFs and 100 to 150 Business In partners in the UK.
But resellers were doubtful of the need for another manufacturer in the space.
Jon Thorpe, managing director of VAR acs, said: “The customers we work with are very clear with regards to the infrastructure they want – it is either Dell, HP or IBM. I do not think there is the need for any more choice in that space.”
Robert May, managing director of ramsac, agreed: “As a reseller, I want the business I conduct to be as easy as possible, which is not the case if you are trying to convince customers to adopt a ‘new’ brand such as Gateway. I think the market is busy enough as it is.”
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