Acer heads for the enterprise space
Next-day replacement, product failure compensation with thin clients and workstations in the pipeline
Acer is launching a new aggressive channel programme to support its enterprise products with the aim of achieving double digit market share within a year.
Although the firm has slipped to number four in the IDC overall PC shipments report, it has experienced strong growth in the commercial sector growing from thee to 10 percent market share, based on data from analyst firm Context.
The flagship of the new “Acer Promise” is that if an Acer PC develops a hardware fault in the first year, Acer promises to fix it free of charge and refund 50 percent of the price to compensate customers for any inconvenience. The scheme is the first amongst the big four PC vendors, although laptop rivals such as Samsung and Toshiba have similar offers on higher end models.
The new enterprise push will target around 1300 partners and according to Nathan Knight, head of Acer UK’s commercial business unit (pictured), the current tough financial climate means customers offered products at a “great price point and quality, will change brand.” Knight believes the firm’s SoHo popularity and comprehensive new service and support offers a spring board to the commercial market and the firm aims to have double digit market share by 2014.
The firm has also changed critical support procedures based on feedback from the channel. Primarily, if an Acer PC should fail within the first 31 days, customers can contact a UK-based call centre and Acer will replace the product the next business day. The new programme will cover higher end business PCs and laptops, although Knight hinted that the concept may well extend to servers at a later date.
The Acer Promise relates specifically to the TravelMate 4, 6 and Timeline X series of professional notebooks and the Veriton series 4 and 6 of professional desktops. The firm is also running a trade-up programme around these models as well as a series of special channel promotions.
Acer is also planning a range of thin clients and workstations that will further extend its reach into enterprise markets but Knight stressed that the firm would not be offering a software stack like rivals HP and Dell. “Our reseller should be differentiate themselves through best of breed software,” he says, with Acer aiming to remain software agnostic and focus on hardware.