The Evil Empire, aka Dell, has long been the focus of channel rage from resellers and vendors alike.
A few years back, Compaq executives in the UK were so incensed by Dell's portrayal of resellers as expensive middlemen that it projected an advertisement onto Dell's building in the UK to highlight exactly what end-users would miss out on if they bypassed the channel.
But despite such protests, Dell probably should be thanked, not blamed, for acting as a catalyst for change.
It hasn't been easy, and many reseller toes have been stepped on. As Dell took market share away from channel-friendly players, many vendors, in a knee-jerk reaction, rushed to set up or bolster direct sales operations.
But that was then, and today's reality is completely different. Many vendors have taken onboard the efficiencies that Dell offers and have applied them to their business models, but that doesn't mean they have abandoned their channels.
Most channel players are now content that the vendor they deal with will need some form of direct and indirect hybrid business model to satisfy customer requirements.
This is accepted, as long as there are clear rules of engagement and good communication at all stages of the supply chain.
Most channel people also realise that there is little value in moving a box from A to B when vendors or distributors can efficiently drop ship the kit directly to the end-user.
They have also realised that, by a combination of secure ordering and configuration using the web, they can offer a service as efficient as Dell's but with all the added service value, support and maintenance that Dell has to outsource.
So the channel has realised that to survive it must take on more Dell-like efficiencies.
But when will Dell realise that it may have to engage more with VARs to deliver the service and support that today's complex IT solutions require?
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany