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The Evolution of Computer Distribution - FOTR

The Evolution of Computer Distribution

Computer distribution has undergone significant changes over the years, transforming from a simple process of delivering computers from manufacturers to customers to a complex network of channels, partners, and logistics. In this article, we will explore the evolution of computer distribution, from its early days to the modern era.
Early Days of Computer Distribution
In the early days of computing, computers were sold directly by manufacturers to customers. This direct-to-customer approach was simple and effective, as the market was small and customers were primarily large organizations and governments. However, as the market grew and computers became more affordable, manufacturers realized that they needed to expand their reach to meet the growing demand.
Emergence of Distributors
To address this need, distributors emerged as intermediaries between manufacturers and customers. Distributors purchased computers from manufacturers and sold them to retailers, who in turn sold them to customers. This distribution model allowed manufacturers to focus on production and innovation, while distributors handled the logistics and sales.
Growth of the Distribution Channel
As the computer market continued to grow, the distribution channel expanded to include more players. Distributors began to specialize in specific product categories, such as hardware or software, and developed relationships with multiple manufacturers. This specialization allowed distributors to offer a wider range of products to customers and provide better support and services.
Role of Distributors
Distributors play a critical role in the computer distribution channel. They provide a range of services, including:
  • Product Procurement: Distributors purchase products from manufacturers and manage inventory levels.
  • Order Fulfillment: Distributors process orders from retailers and deliver products to customers.
  • Technical Support: Distributors provide technical support and training to retailers and customers.
  • Marketing and Sales: Distributors promote products and provide sales support to retailers.
Modern Computer Distribution
Today, computer distribution is a complex and dynamic process. The rise of e-commerce and cloud computing has transformed the way computers are sold and distributed. Modern computer distribution involves:
  • Online Marketplaces: Online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Newegg, have become major channels for computer sales.
  • Cloud Computing: Cloud computing has enabled customers to access computing resources and software over the internet.
  • OEM and VAR Channels: Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and value-added resellers (VARs) have emerged as important channels for computer distribution.

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