Microsoft has announced a global review of its OEM distributors, which could result in one or more of its UK partners getting the chop.
The software giant told all eight of its UK OEM distributors – Avnet, Ingram Micro, Westcoast, EntaTech, Northamber, Computer 2000, VIP Computers and Micro Peripherals – about its plans at an event yesterday.
All eight have been invited by Microsoft to take part in a request for proposal (RFP) process, as part of a worldwide review of its OEM distribution channel.
In a statement, Microsoft said: "The RFP process is designed to help Microsoft make the decision about whether it keeps the same number of OEMs in the UK, [or whether it] reduces or increases this number.
"[This] will allow Microsoft to assess the distribution ecosystem in a given country or area, and select distributors whose strategies and capabilities most closely align with those of Microsoft today and in the future."
Alex Tatham, sales and marketing director at Westcoast, confirmed that his company will respond to Microsoft's RFP invite with its "customary enthusiasm".
"While this is always a nervous moment for any existing distributor, we can only hope that our energy, outstanding sales growth and strong business strategy is what Microsoft is looking for," he added.
Andy Trish, managing director of Microsoft OEM hardware reseller NCI Technologies, has welcomed the review.
"It is Microsoft's decision whether or not they increase or decrease the size of their OEM channel, but I am sure they will take into account the level of choice required by customers who do not want to be tied down to just a few OEM suppliers," he said.
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