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I have gotten so many comments about my Dell and Staples blog post that it is necessary to follow up with some more comments.

1. A big complaint from reads is that “dell is no different than HP – when it comes to staples and I am being unfair to Dell with my comments!” – Well here is what I have to say to that:

The simple fact of the matter is that dell does very little to differntiate their channel offerings from their retail offerings – The dell/staples team has been agressivly advertising their marrage, but I have yet to see a dell ad that recomends that you go see your “VAR” for more details – it is an unfair way to treat your channel partners.

As for HP, the company does make it clear that they have a “channel” and the company also offers different product sets for retail and for the channel – that allows partners to offer their SMB customers “enterprise” class products instead of the “retail” products –

All you have to do is take a good look at channel insider over the last few weeks and you can see that we are also pointing out HP’s channel weekneses and how VARs are complaining about certain HP practices.

2. Another comment was that there is nothing wrong with Dell selling services and that is the wave of the future anyway:

Well, selling services is a great thing – it is a way to maintain a customer relationship and generate ongoing revenue, that is evidenced by all of the MSPs popping up – but there is a big difference between how Dell will pursue this course as oppessed to other Vendors –

If a partner sells a Dell system, they should not be surprised if Dell contacts that customer directly to offer silverback or what ever service flavor of the month is for Dell – I can sell Dell completely usurping their channel partner and “steel” the customer – Other Services vendors have figured out the channel and are working closely with their partners to sell those services – just compare how N-Able, Zenith_InfoTech, LPI and many others engage their channel partners and it becomes very clear a VAR should choose to build a relationship with!

Frank J. Ohlhorst