Just The Three Of You: Your IT Consultant, You and Your Direct PC Vendor

Traditionally you have a direct relationship with your IT consultant and he (or she) is your liaison to your PC vendor. Things are quickly changing.
Buying a computer directly from a PC vendor means the PC vendor has a direct relationship with you. Keep in mind that PC vendors don’t just sell computers but have an array of products and services to sell you. Security, email (Dell), in house marketing (HP) and so many other solutions.
PC vendors realize they are leaving a lot of the customer relationship (hence money) on the table and and are slowly working with local IT consultants to better know who the end user of their products are.
CRN reports that Dell, for example is aggressively building a hybrid approach to its formerly, direct only computer sales model. Dell already sells in retail stores, but continues to work with computer consultants, who only a few short years ago almost shunned.
What does this mean to your business?

If you are used to dealing with only an IT consultant, expect to hear from PC vendors who want to sell you additional services – this is a good thing – as you’ll get more choice and more competitive pricing.
Computer retailer CDW is aggressively advertising its services business – more than just selling computers and is a competitive force as well.
Referring to Dell’s newly emerging strategy, CRN writes “It’s a bold move. I don’t see many other large companies looking at how to reward resellers who are doing the right things, driving business and building long-term-relationships with clients,” said Tim Hebert, president and CEO of Atrion Networking, a Warwick, R.I.-based solution provider. “If [account registration] will do what they say, they will create a phenomenal program that will be something all companies will look at as a milestone and something to replicate.”
So the next time your IT consultant helps you purchase computers from a PC vendor, expect the PC vendor to want to introduce you to more of its services – some serviced by the consultant and some direct from the PC vendor.