A Better Distribution Channel for OEMs

Interoperability and compatibility are two important factors when determining the viability of a stable long term platform. It makes no sense to deploy a solution that works today, have a hardware failure tomorrow, and be unable to recover. For instance, you would never want to purchase a SAN from a storage provider that is supplied by only one HBA vendor; unless of course you are willing to stockpile HBAs for the expected life of your SAN.
Many OEMs have undoubtedly encountered this same problem through their distributor channels. I personally am not encouraged when I view various distributor websites and encounter statements like: We try to inventory, find, or build replacement components to protect against product failure and EOL. No warm and fuzzy here and I’m always cautious when I read statements like “We try”.

But let’s face it, this can be a very risky business for OEMs. After all, what happens if an OEM commits to a distributor for components, tests and certifies the solution, and then the distributor is unable to deliver? This can have serious, if not fatal, ramifications. Complete development, testing, and certification efforts might have been wasted, product development might have to start from scratch, and a whole new technology base might need to be selected. As you can see, OEMs are effectively electing to roll the dice with a narrow technology set (possibly because of cost) ultimately hit the proverbial brick wall and face increasing costs to do business if they can’t locate suitable replacement parts.

OEMs also need to consider how their technology fits into the enterprise currently and in the future. Selecting the wrong hardware platform that doesn’t integrate well with other enterprise systems could negate any chance of purchase and deployment. Likewise, selecting the wrong hardware today could easily prove to be an integration disaster in the future. A very simple example is to base your system on a 32-bit architecture when everyone, or at least your target market, is moving to 64-bit. Interoperability, connectivity, and standardization can often be difficult technologies to conquer. Sometimes the only way to build a truly cohesive infrastructure is to deploy brand name equipment that has been tested and proven to work together.

To better serve OEMs, embedded systems organizations are in the process of transforming segments of their operations to build and deliver solutions on brand name equipment. Bell Micro is one such distributor that is working with market leading HP equipment to supply OEM-Ready systems and components. Simplifying on a single vendor, through the proper distributor, provides an OEM the following benefits:

  • As embedded systems organizations build a close relationship with brand name vendors they are able to gain visibility into product lifecycles, obtain supply priority, and have access to superior support and issue resolution
  • As embedded systems organizations move larger amounts of inventory they are able to command a level of attention from manufacturers others simply don’t get
  • Gain economies of scale and lower costs by standardization by riding the coat-tails a distributors buying power
  • Companies can focus on the core business, not infrastructure
  • Working with a vendor-based system architecture, an OEM is able to standardize on hardware offerings that promote successful integrations and successful projects
  • The long-term partnership and commitment between an embedded system organization and a brand name vendor means an OEMs can more readily and easily take advantage of technology innovation

For OEMs, taking advantage of the relationships an embedded systems organization has built is critical to their success. Searching for replacement parts and system components and worrying about interoperability should be a thing of the past. Bell Micro has built the infrastructure and relationships with vendors such as HP to pass on pricing, support, and service benefits to OEMs–helping OEMs produce solutions that can stand the test of time.

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