You just put in summary form why maybe thousands of folks are no longer "selling" the box. If IBM ever wondered or cared about the sales drops or lost accounts they would have "noticed" this little problem. They have not "noticed".
I have a bunch of "orphaned accounts" that I have had for years. They have IBM gear because I sold them that gear. I supported them. I brought them along. IBM had very little if anything to do with the success of these accounts. They do business with IBM because of me. I can't tell you how much I resent IBM telling me what I should or should not have in the way of staff. I believe the box is slowing going away because of this stupid behavior.
The only way the 400 stays in accounts now is because the current customer base calls IBM and orders another box! It has very little to do with anybody out there actually selling anything. This will not go on forever.
My take on it (in a simplistic way) is that IBM doesn't know how to mass market to small customers. They never have. That's why they got stomped when the IBM PC clones came out. The clones were faster, cheaper and easier to buy.
They probably feel that it costs them almost as much to sell a $250,000 system as a $15,000 system, so why should they bother? "Let's make some business relationships w/ some large VARs and let the rest pick up any remaining crumbs."
My case (just closed this month) was that I made the sale. The hardware company I usually deal with did most of the research for the config. Due to the current BP structure they were forced to actually place order with a Super-VAR, who, of course, wanted a piece of the action.
My guy used to be a BP, but since he could only supply a certified sales guy, not a certified techie, they had to drop out of the program. He got rejected by IBM because he refused to change his business model to include onboard techies - despite the fact that he made his quotas and his primary business structure is sales, not technical services! When technical expertise is needed he calls on technical experts.
His feeling is that IBM tries to thwart the little guy every step of the way. I see his point!
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