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Tech Data jumps into Dell's corporate hot tub

Volume distie shakes hips, Texan tech titan puckers lips... deal done

Dell is finally falling for the charms of the largest volume disties after signing up Tech Data in parts of mainland Europe ahead of extending the deal to Blighty from next month, or so say multiple sources.

The one-time direct selling purist did the distie dance with Ingram across the region earlier this year, and got jiggy with Tech Data in France back in October, and last week extended that to Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.

In a canned statement sent to us, Dell said the “relationship marks Dell’s continued investment in the channel”.

Client devices and accessories are involved in the first tranche of kit to be distributed by Tech Data in those but this will extend to the Enterprise portfolio, printing and software, and then expand geographically.

Well-placed sources tell us Tech Data UK is to carry Dell stock from next month but the distributor refused to comment on this, and the US vendor was keeping its cards close to its chest.

The Dell spokeswoman added:

“Partners like Tech Data are pivotal to our success and we look forward to working together to bring Dell’s solutions to further markets, however have no specific details to share on additional countries at this time.”

How times change: all those years back when Dell founder and then chairman Texan Mick lost his direct sales religion, and asked the channel to help rebuild his organisation, he decided to bypass wholesalers.

The thinking was that the company already had a slick logistics engine that could fulfil orders to resellers and integrators, so why pay for another loop in the supply chain.

This quickly changed when Dell realised it needed a more structured way of working with third party suppliers, but in Europe it worked only with national distributors rather than pan-regional giants – as it had in the US.

The expansion of the local distie line-up is unlikely to go down well with those that already carry all or some of the Dell line card, including Exertis Micro P, Hammer and Midwich.

Privately owned Dell obviously no longer reports quarterly results, but judging by the recent spate of analyst reports for PCs, servers and storage, it is doing OK. ®

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