Acer has scored a plum spot on the Western Australia's $100 million whole-of-government PC panel – despite the state government originally publishing an approved supplier list missing the Taiwanese vendor.
The WA Common Use Agreement was first published in mid-February, as reported by CRN, with CDM Australia, EDsys Computers, JB Hi-Fi, Toshiba and Winthrop Australia listed as the only suppliers – and Acer noticeable in its absence.
At the time, a spokesperson for the state government Department of Finance told CRN that it was still negotiating with suppliers.
CRN understands that at this time, Acer had essentially been approved, so its absence from the initial list was a shock to all, especially one of its biggest Perth partners, JH Computer Services.
Jennifer Clay, chief executive of JH Computer Services, told CRN: "Our main focus is Acer and Lexmark. We sell a whole lot of others but our main focus is Acer and Lexmark, so for us not to be on the CUA – and we do a lot of government business – would have been devastating for us."
Thankfully for JH Computing, Acer was quickly added to the approved supplier list. In fact, the vendor has scored rights across a broad sweep of business-grade desktops, tablets, hybrids and all-in-ones, and as well as its consumer range together with Chromebooks.
Under the new arrangement, Acer can also supply WA Education, a part of the public sector it had been locked out of for the past four years.
Acer had previously been unable to supply school buyers in Western Australia; tough for a vendor so focused on the education vertical.
Clay said that her teams at JH Computer Services and sister company ServiceWest had worked tirelessly, along with Acer's Julia Sinton, over the past few years to rebuild Acer's reputation in the local education market, and said this work had paid off with Acer's place on the supply panel. "We absolutely killed the education area with kindness."
The new CUA runs for a two-year initial term with three one-year extensions, and is estimated to be worth $100 million over the full five-year life of the arrangement.
Acer sales director Rod Bassi said: "Acer is proud be to awarded a position on the latest CUA and will be building on our 25-year record of supplying exceptional value for money and the highest-quality systems as a preferred supplier to the Western Australian government and education markets.
"Our inclusion on the panel will enable both small and large agencies to leverage Acer’s strength of a combined single supply and service operation."
Earlier this year, Acer doubled down on education with the launch of a laptop buying and advice portal for parents and schools, a way to get a stake in the trend toward 'bring your own device' purchasing.
Speaking to CRN yesterday, Acer's local boss, Darren Simmons, indicated a string of wins by its resellers in the education space, both traditional sales and also as a result of its new BYOD strategy.