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Dell may add more distributors to channel

Paul Kunert

Dell's UK channel head has not ruled out appointing more distributors following yesterday's revelation that Hammer has been signed to supply resellers with its server and EqualLogic storage portfolio.

The one-time direct selling purist launched a reseller programme in February 2008 and said its logistical capabilities meant that it did not need to lean on distributors in volume markets but may do so in niche verticals.

The addition of Hammer comes of top of the distribution contract that Dell signed with Micro P in September but Andy Dow, UK channel director at Dell told MicroScope that the expansion of a two tier supply chain may not be complete.

When asked if future plans included additional wholesalers he said: "The answer is yes and no. We do not and have never discounted distribution as the model matures and the requirements change."

The requirements had changed in the storage market he added: "Has it changed in other markets? Potentially, but nothing is on the horizon in the UK at the moment."

Operating a single tier supply chain had limitations, said Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at Canalys: "We always felt that Dell should work with distributors and if you look at its successful competitors in the channel they all use distribution.

"I am not surprised Dell has realised the important role that distribution plays in terms of credit and [product] availability but I would be surprised if it signed up several competitive distributors [for each category]," he added.

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