Making a case for PC upgrades

The decision to embark on a PC upgrade cycle is never an easy one for customers to take. Working together, vendors and resellers can make it a compelling opportunity.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  January 17, 2004

The decision on whether or not to embark on a PC upgrade cycle is never an easy one for customers. If existing PC infrastructures function adequately, the thought of investing a large sum of capital to achieve incremental performance improvement is difficult to justify.

For this reason, vendors and resellers are working harder than ever to put forward a compelling return on investment argument to customers. Typically, this now involves extolling the advantages that exist beyond the desktop, and highlighting benefits gleaned through areas such as systems, inventory and asset management as well as reduced down time.

With this in mind, HP has just teamed up with Intel, Microsoft and asset management software vendor Altiris to launch a roadshow aimed at convincing Middle East customers that buying new PCs can save them money in the long-term. NASDAQ-quoted Altiris has carved out a strong global reputation in the IT asset management software space. Both Dell and HP hold equity stakes in Altiris and have helped boost its channel-to-market through OEM agreements.

For some customers, understanding long-term return on investment (ROI) benefits and improvements in total cost of ownership (TCO) for PCs is a quantum shift. Traditionally, buyers tended to look at the immediate returns and paid scant attention to long-term savings. Many would only consider an upgrade investment when the existing PCs became totally obsolete or ceased to function.

HP plans to assist this transition in thinking with special ‘HP Buy Back’ programmes for old kit to make the PC Migration process easier on customers’ wallets. The ‘HP Buy Back’ scheme will include collecting, transporting, recycling and disposing of old systems as well as credit for obsolete systems.

For resellers, there is a clear opportunity to use HP’s argument to drum up new business. The marketing material needed to persuade customers that a PC upgrade cycle is a solid economic proposition is all there. Rather than wait for the customer to make the decision to upgrade, resellers can go out and make pro-active sales.

These customers are not low-hanging fruit and the sales cycle may be slightly longer. But it is an opportunity for resellers to drive into a new business niche and make a move from pure product fulfillment towards value-added solution delivery by presenting PC upgrades as a solution encompassing software and services delivery too.

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