Gateway guns for mid market in EMEA


Gateway guns for mid market in EMEA

Microscope contributor

Gateway is making a play for the mid-market with a range of PCs, servers, LCDs and managed services, vowing to work only with VARs dedicated to that space to protect margin from price aggressive etailers.


The move is part of parent company Acer's multi-brand strategy it unveiled last at its global press conference in Hungary and the desktops and notebook will start shipping in March, with other products and services arriving in May.


"Since we are only going to be focused on the mid market there will be no channel pollution or leakage, partners will not be under price pressure from e-tailers," said Kevin O'Donoghue, product marketing director at Gateway EMEA.


The vendor will look to muster an as yet undefined number of partners that it will manage directly, likely to be no more than 50 and the remainder will be account managed by Computer 2000.


The managed services suite - hosted by Acer in a UK data centre - includes monitoring, basic prevention tools, patch management up to a complete analysis of bandwidth, and processors to asset management. The cost is not yet finalised.


"All the partner and the customer needs is an Internet connection, the capital investment is zero. This allows VARs to utilise their engineers to service multiple customers remotely instead of having to run around in a car," he added.


O'Donoghue said the perception of the Gateway in the UK was not positive or negative but he believed the market will become less crowded as the industry consolidates, "there is space to grow...and build the brand with partners."


Gateway withdrew from the UK market in 2001 to focus on its heartland - the US retail sector - and though it made a comeback in 2005 across Europe, failed to make a dent in rivals' businesses.


It was then sold to e-Machines founder John Hui in 2007, before he passed it onto Acer for £355m and has operated in the US consumer space, similar to Packard Bell in Europe.


The biggest challenge facing Gateway is overcoming the lack of meaningful brand awareness in the UK mid market said Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at Canalys.


"What will define success is whether Gateway can generate demand from mid-market customers, resellers will not spend time promoting the brand," he said, "the reason HP and Dell is so successful is because customer demand their products."


Mark Glasspool, general manager for PC systems at Computer 2000, agreed one of the major jobs ahead was to increase brand recognition in the UK, "but the reward structure will be compelling for resellers...they will like its predictability".


No other details on the margins were available at the time of going to press.

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