European resellers are less willing to work with Dell than their US counterparts, even though the direct seller is likely to start working closer with the channel, according to analysts.
Market watcher Global Touch's Channel Tracker report for the mid-fourth quarter 2002 asked resellers if they were interested in selling some form of Dell-branded products.
While 79 per cent of US respondents said yes, only 60 per cent of European-based resellers agreed.
Denise Sangster, chief executive at Global Touch, said the contrasting views of the US and European channels are the result of Dell's extra reach in the US and its recent engagement with the channel.
"In the US Dell has more users and the resellers there want a piece of the action, and it has already launched its white box channel initiative in the US, whereas it hasn't in Europe," she told vnunet.com.
Sangster added that she expected Dell to start offering its products through the channel and that it would be the main beneficiary of such a move.
"Dell has the problem that all vendors have, that it does not visit its customers regularly. The channel can do this for it. Follow-on sales can be made during these visits," she said.
When asked whether it would consider using the reseller channel, Dell said in a statement: "Dell believes it can best serve its customers through a direct, one-to-one relationship.
"This allows us to develop and deliver products and services that are a direct result of what our customers have asked us for."
Roland Westlake, managing director at reseller Links Education, said he could compete with Dell and that if he signed up another range on top of existing partner Fujitsu Siemens Computers, he "would not choose Dell".
The Global Touch research also revealed final-quarter disappointment for the channel, with sales below expectations in Europe for the mid-point of the fourth quarter of this year.
"The final quarter is usually the strongest quarter and this year people have been hoping that the year would end with a better market, but what we are seeing is soft demand in the US and becoming softer in Europe," said Sangster.
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