In a bid to boost plummeting PC server sales, IBM's Personal Systems Group is taking a U-turn on channel strategy by launching a direct channel for large corporates that want to deal direct with the manufacturer.
According to US reports the NetFinity Direct programme was devised to challenge Dell's growing marketshare. Bill McCracken, IBM's Personal Systems chief, told reporters: "Dell is only half a point away in marketshare from where we are, and [if growth continues at the same rate] Dell will surpass us."
McCracken cited the effectiveness of Dell's direct approach to customers. Under NetFinity Direct, IBM will operate an apparently similar model, handling the procurement, service, and support of server products. However the two strategies will look very different.
Dell is a dedicated direct sales company, but IBM will choose which customers can participate in the new initiative. It said that at least 80 per cent of PC servers will continue to go through its reseller channels, with perhaps only 10 per cent coming under the NetFinity Direct umbrella. Observers believe Big Blue will limit the service to its top 300 accounts.
IBM UK was unavailable at press time.
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