Microsoft has cut the number of UK distributors it works with as it continues on its quest to become a "devices and services" company
After concluding a distribution beauty parade, from 1 January next year the firm will move forward with five distributors in the shape of Tech Data, Westcoast, Ingram Micro, Enta Technologies, and Mirco-P.
Ingram, Tech Data and Westcoast will appear on its Volume Licensing and Fully Packaged Product line-up -with Micro-P joining on the latter - while Enta joins Ingram and Tech Data on its Commercial OEM Windows and Server list. A new category - Commercial OEM Server Only - will be taken to market by Micro-P and Westcoast.
The reduction in the number of OEM distributors is particularly stark, with six being cut to three.
The move follows a request for proposal process which took place in September this year. Avnet and VIP Computers are the two existing distributors whose relationship with the software giant appears set to end from next year.
Laura Bouchard, UK sales director at Avnet Technology Solutions, said: "Avnet is committed to supporting growth with its business partners though a focus on driving high-value solutions. Following conversations with Microsoft, it has become apparent that this focus does not align with Microsoft's strategy to be a devices-led organisation. We will work closely with our business partners and Microsoft to ensure a smooth transition of the business."
Jon Atherton, vice president of Enta Technologies, said: "It is good that Microsoft have finally made tough decisions. It is inevitable distribution has reduced, the market is shrinking, Microsoft OS share on tablet devices is low so action needed to be taken."
Ingram Micro's Services division general manager Apay Obang-Oyway said: "We look forward to continuing to play a key role within the Microsoft partner ecosystem as it advances its devices and services strategy," he said. "We certainly see this as a significant opportunity for us to develop and drive opportunities for our valued channel reseller partners."
In a statement, Microsoft said: "Microsoft has begun one of the most significant transformations in its history - the shift towards being a devices and services company. To further this goal, Microsoft has undertaken a global project to assess the distributors best placed in each region to deliver devices and services powered by Microsoft software and deliver a superior customer experience for resellers."
The charter has pulled together the biggest names in tech in an unprecedented attempt to address the tech industry's lack of diversity. Tom Wright asks how it plans to do it
Highlander MD Steve Brown tells CRN about the skills he learned on the pitch and brought to the boardroom
Reports suggest Dell is pursuing a straightforward IPO, contradicting existing plans to buy out tracking stock holders
Analysts predict upturn in PC market next year, but 2018 to remain plagued by components shortages