Hewlett-Packard recently authorized CDW to sell two- and four-way HP 9000 servers to SMB customers. HP has also blessed an alliance under which CDW will refer leads for HP-UX systems above four-way to Agilysys, in Cleveland. The moves have some reseller partners concerned over margins.
"I don't know any HP [enterprise] reseller that is happy," said Rich Baldwin, president and CEO of Nth Generation, a San Diego-based solution provider and one of HP's biggest storage partners. "The biggest issue is that CDW will quote a lot of low-cost products and hurt the efforts of legitimate solution providers."
Complicating the issue is the fact that Agilysys has both a distribution arm, KeyLink Systems, and an Enterprise Systems Group (ESG), which works directly with end users.
Mike Cox, president and CEO of Logicalis, one of HP's largest enterprise solution providers in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., said he was concerned that CDW will not only compete on price at the low end but will feed leads to Agilysys' integration group for high-end systems. "Our fear is that we or some other reseller will take the process down the sales path and somehow CDW will get a lead to Agilysys' ESG or another Agilysys reseller who will come in and under-bid us because they don't have the cost associated with the sales cycle," he said.
Dan Vertrees, HP's vice president and general manager of enterprise partners for the Americas, said CDW will be forbidden to sell into any tier-one or tier-two HP enterprise accounts and will be restricted to the SMB market, he said. In addition, CDW can't sell the HP 9000 into accounts already served by other HP solution providers.