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We all know how Dell has been trying to court the channel. Dell sees the channel as a way to move the company’s products out to more and more businesses, especially the SMB (small and midsize business) market. And some VARs have been drinking the Dell Kool-Aid and are moving Dell’s PCs and accessories at a decent clip, oblivious to the fact that Dell plots against them. Dell has made it clear that while it is supporting the channel, it will still look to sell services and products via other means.

What’s more, Dell has partnered with Staples to sell products and supplies, and guess what their primary target is? The SMB market!

With Staples reporting flat profits and cutting its sales forecasts, it only makes sense that the retailer is going to rely on its key vendors to help boost traffic, and here comes Dell to just do that. So for the SMB VAR, selling Dell products may very well be an exercise in futility — after all, you’ll be competing against some 1,400 Staples stores and their red-shirted in-house sales folks.

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Above: The sign of things to come for Dell partners

Frank J. Ohlhorst