Rectron's Microsoft original equipment manufacturer (OEM) status has now been complemented by its appointment as a Microsoft fully-packaged product (FPP) distributor.
“The Microsoft software distribution channel is currently divided into three sections – consumer OEM, FPP, and volume licensing, with different distributors competing in different channels,” says Elaine Wang, Microsoft product manager at Rectron.
“Rectron was previously a player only in the OEM channel, but with its appointment as one of South Africa’s new FPP distributors last month, has now been given the opportunity to sell FPP software.”
The OEM channel focuses primarily on the provision of Microsoft software to system builders, which can obtain Microsoft software at lower prices, with certain terms and conditions.
“Microsoft defines FPP as ‘boxed, licensed software sold through distributors to resellers. Customers generally acquire FPPs through local retail stores and software retailers. Typically, each FPP includes one license, along with media and documentation and is designed to meet low-volume needs’.”
According to Wang, the FPP appointment is highly significant to Rectron, particularly as far as the roll‑out of the upcoming Microsoft Office 2010 is concerned.
“We have seen a definite trend towards mobile computing in the last year; the increasing popularity of mobility leads to a natural emphasis on Microsoft Office over Microsoft’s operating system offerings, especially at a distribution level,” she explains.
“Microsoft has changed the way that Office 2010 will be distributed – while Office 2007 is available both in the consumer OEM and FPP channels, Office 2010 will only be available in the FPP channel.”
In addition to Office 2010, Rectron will have access to the full range of Microsoft software, including Windows 7.
“Because of the change in distribution method, Microsoft has also had to re-evaluate its current distribution houses to ensure the success of the new product,” Wang adds.
“Through the appointment of Rectron as one of the three FPP distributors, Microsoft can also piggy‑back off the wide variety and number of customers that Rectron reaches on a monthly basis.”
Wang says that Rectron has a nationwide footprint and caters towards a wide variety of customers.
“Rectron serves a wide base of both system builder and channel retail customers, and has long been known for its customer-centric approach to distribution,” she says. “Rectron also distributes a large variety of brands, enabling it to act as a ‘one-stop shop’ for its customers. Rectron’s close partnerships with its vendors also ensure the very best in service levels, and the best product offerings, perfectly suited for the South African market.”
She says the change in distribution channel for Office 2010 has major implications for the channel.
“Microsoft Club and Partner Network members need to purchase from Microsoft authorized distributors to accumulate points for their respective programmes,” she says.
“This will also mean an increase in the level of convenience for some channel partners, in that they need only buy from one distributor, instead of having to shop from distributor to distributor to get the correct products. In cases where resellers are registered only to Rectron, this will mean that they have the opportunity to expand their product offerings to grow their businesses.”
End users will continue to purchase software from their local retailers and system builders.