Acer America Corp. has laid out a plan to bump up sales of consumer devices and drive its products deeper into the enterprise, and the company sees reseller partners as a key to that plan.
The San Jose, Calif., company last week launched the Acer Authorized Reseller Program, an initiative designed to encourage resellers to support Acer products and to reward channel partners.
The program involves, among other things, promotions, training, and sales and marketing tools and covers all Acers services and products, including notebooks, tablet PCs, desktops, servers and monitors. The program covers not only resellers but also systems integrators, software makers and service providers. Those interested in joining must buy a minimum of Acer products, which determine whether the reseller becomes an authorized, preferred or premier member. Sales figures will be reviewed quarterly to determine members status.
"We watched many of our competitors going around the channel and selling direct, but when we looked at the channel, it was much more efficient to use the structure already there," said Frank Chang, product manager for servers for Acer, in an interview this spring.
Acer recently renewed its push to expand beyond PCs and laptops into the commercial server and storage space. Until the late 1990s, the company sold various hardware products, including servers. But due to some missteps—including moving away from the channel and into direct selling—Acer began to see sales drop and revenues fall. Parent company Acer Inc. in 2000 told its American subsidiary to pull back on servers and concentrate on notebooks and PCs.
Now the company is moving back into enterprise-level hardware. In May, the company rolled out a 1U (1.75-inch) rack-mount server, the Altos R300, and this month is expected to come out with its 2U (3.5-inch), two-way R700, with storage devices due late this year or early next.