Over two-thirds of end users prefer to buy IT from one large supplier rather than those which partner with systems integrators and independent software vendors (ISVs), according to a survey by Merrill Lynch.
The findings are part of Merrill Lynch's latest TechStrat survey of 25 European and 75 US chief information officers (CIOs), which monitors IT buying trends.
CIOs were asked whether they prefer to buy from one company, such as IBM, or from a partnership such as Hewlett Packard (HP) or Sun Microsystems working with systems integrators and ISVs. The single company option was chosen by 68 per cent.
Steve Milunovich, the report's author, explained that there is increased interest in working with one vendor for software, hardware and services.
"The advantage is 'one throat to choke'. The alternative is the partnering approach that HP and Sun take with systems integrators," he said in the report.
But Steve Brazier, chief executive at research firm Canalys, suggested that the findings reflected the US bias of the respondents.
"I think you would get a fairly different response in Europe," he said. "It is a much more common response in the US where users can deal with large companies directly because it is geographically one region, with one language. The complexity involved is far less."
In Europe it is a much more complex decision, according to Brazier. "You might buy your PCs or servers direct, but you still buy your Microsoft software and networking equipment and printers through the channel," he explained.
Tony Davis, managing director at corporate reseller Elcom, agreed that the US has different buying issues to the UK. But he pointed out that the channel provides the single point of sale that users are looking for.
"We give them what they ask for. They only have one company to deal with and we are the ones that bring it all together," he said.
"You can talk to Microsoft as long as you like but it won't be able to provide you with the servers, desktops, laptops and printers as well."
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