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DTI calls for reseller kitemark

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Hewlett Packard wants to see a government-sponsored industry kitemark for resellers, CW360.com reports.

The site appears to have got its knickers slightly in a twist over the story as, according to CRN UK, the scheme is DTI-led and HP is just one of a number of vendors discussing the project with the DTI.

The Big Idea behind standard accreditation is to help small and medium-sized businesses in selecting the right company for its IT. HP says it is prepared to spend some money to get such a scheme off the ground and it has talked to the DTI as to how this can best be achieved.

The government has an IT supplier accreditation scheme already in place. Called Technology for Business, and this promotes a list of approved local resellers through the network of Business Links.

So what happened to that idea? Apparently this accreditation was designed for individuals, as opposed to organisations. And the talks between the DTI and the vendors is to extend the remit of this obscure scheme.

But what's wrong with the PC Association? Originally, this was called the PCDMA - or Personal Computer Direct Marketing Association, and it set up in the early '90s to deliver quality assurance at a time when dodgy system builders were going bust left, right and centre, leaving customers in the lurch.

The PCA still has its own kitemark. Do we need another?
Resellers are bombarded with accreditation schemes foisted upon them at sometimes great expense by the manufacturers. If there is confusion in the mind of small businessess, then it is the fault of the manufacturers for failing to promote their accreditations strongly enough.

A reseller with accreditation for, say, Microsoft, Sage, 3Com, and just about any old hardware manufacturer, has the skill-set to deal with a small or medium-sized business. It may however lack the inclination. Small businesses are after all very demanding. And penny-pinching too. ®

Tune in and turn on to our new Channel Flannel, our new reseller section.

And if you're a UK reseller, you can also see some more of our stories on Microsoft Partner.

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