Michael Dell denied that his aim of doing "100 per cent" of Dell's business online would cost the salesforce their jobs.
He leapt to clarify statements he had made earlier in the week, claiming Dell was "well on its way" to doing all its business via the Internet.
Michael Dell's spokesperson Neisha Frank said the hope was that all customers would make the Net their first point of contact with the company, but would then go on to deal with salespeople, in all but the simplest deals.
The PC maker already does up to $4 billion a day in Web based sales, claimed Dell, speaking at the Gartner Group Internet and Ecommerce conference in New York. The next stage is to extend the online model to its own suppliers, "turning all physical relationships into electronic ones".
Intel is already running a pilot scheme with Dell to find ways to bring supply online. Initially, they will exchange real time product information with the ultimate aim being to deliver components to Dell on a just in time basis. "We want to take these relationships and further our mutual co-dependence," said Dell.
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