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Gateway will begin offering its VARs access to the same training portal that its in-house sales staff currently uses as a better way for its partners to sell hardware to users and push more product through the channel.

The portal, called Symphony, can be accessed through Gateway’s Web site and will become available to VARs by the middle of August.

Symphony offers a number of selling tools, training and industry trend information for the in-house sales staff, which VARs will now be able to access with a password, said Matt McManus, senior director of channel marketing strategy for the Irvine, Calif., computer maker.

“This is something we wanted to make available to the partners,” McManus told Channel Insider at the CompTIA Breakaway show in Orlando, Fla., on Aug 2.

“We had previously sent this information out on DVD and the material was never fully used. Now, our partners will have access to the online version and we’re very excited about this.”

Click here to read a commentary on Gateway’s sales and channel strategy.

In the beginning of 2006, the company’s direct sale had begun to soften and Gateway has been looking for more way to sell its computers and products through the channel.

In addition to tools and research, Symphony acts as an on-demand presentation that VARs can use to sell Gateway products.

For example, the site offers a voice over narration of several products that VARs can call up and present to clients. Instead of carrying materials with them, partners can now call up the site and simply create a presentation for their clients anywhere.

The portal is regularly updated with training for new products and previews of upcoming announcements from Gateway.

Click here to view exclusive channel research from Amazon Consulting.

Symphony also offers a quick reference guide for products, market share highlights and a side-by-side comparison to rival products from Hewlett-Packard and Dell.

Gateway has about 1,000 partners and they have continually asked the company for additional tools to help sell products, McManus said.

“Our in-house sales guys use this religiously,” McManus said of Symphony. “Now, the partners can go to trade shows and print out what they need and it’s always right there for them. It’s more industry-based than manufacture-based, and it’s very channel friendly.”

McManus did not have an exact date when VARs can begin gaining access to Symphony, but said it would be ready by the middle of August.

“We’re basically looking for a way that our partners can sell more products and a way to push more products through the channel.”