Dell has prepared the ground for a channel showdown with HP after appointing distributor Magirus to carry its datacentre kit in the UK.
Magirus inked a pan-European agreement with Dell 14 months ago but the partnership will only be activated in the UK from next month.
Working alongside incumbent server and storage distributor Hammer, Magirus will have access to Dell's PowerEdge servers and PowerVault, EqualLogic and Compellent ranges.
Dell currently has 100 Certified partners in the UK, most of which specialise in servers and storage.
Magirus UK managing director Denise Bryant said the eventual goal is to forge deep ties with 50 resellers, with disgruntled HP partners firmly in her cross hairs.
She told ChannelWeb: "The only other vendor that really has a full datacentre proposition is HP, and we know there are a lot of unhappy HP partners out there for whom we believe Dell's proposition would be ideal."
Bryant said Magirus would also target its existing base of VMware partners, who may not sell a wider storage and datacentre proposition.
Dell parted ways with storage distributor CMS Peripherals last February, just a year into the partnership. At the time, CMS complained that Dell's decision to ring-fence about 80 resellers attached to either itself or Hammer had left it to fish from "too small a pond".
But Kathy Schneider, executive director of channel marketing and programmes for Europe at Dell, said no existing accounts would be off limits to Magirus.
"There are clear benefits of working with a distributor in areas such as credit and shipping times," she said.
"This announcement is particularly good timing, given the new storage and 12G server products we brought to market," she added.
Dell and Magirus already work together in France, Switzerland, Germany, Iberia and the Netherlands.
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