Gateway Spruces Up Its SMB Service Offerings


The San Diego-based company, which has been losing money and searching for a new chief executive officer, is rolling out new IT services for small and midsize businesses in an attempt to capture new revenue.

The new initiative by Gateway expands its IT infrastructure services from larger enterprise and government customers to small and midsize businesses, including assessment, design and implementation. The company said it will offer the services in a bundled approach or each service separately, and that it will provide the services through existing channel partners that focus on service.

However, the company will work to keep its services channel separate from its hardware channel, where a solution provider’s offerings don’t already intersect.

“Gateway has contracted with key national and regional service partners to deliver the professional services mentioned,” said Matt McManus, director of channel marketing and sales strategy for the company. “While Gateway’s traditional hardware sales and service delivery channels often intersect, they are generally managed as separate businesses.”

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McManus said, “Gateway will continue to consider traditional resellers as potential service partners depending on their expertise, track record of success and proximity to customers requiring our support.” But, he said, the company doesn’t see a need to add more as of the second quarter.

Gateway in many ways is at a crossroads. The company has been struggling to grow its commercial and professional sales, which rely largely on the channel, at the same time it is continuing to look for a permanent CEO to replace Wayne Inouye, the former eMachines chief, who retired earlier this year. Meanwhile, Gateway has continued to post quarterly losses while Wall Street has grown increasingly impatient.

Some in the channel, too, are showing impatience with Gateway’s performance.

“Lately, Gateway hasn’t been doing too well in the marketplace,” said Atul Tucker, president and CEO of Attronica, a Gaithersburg, Md.-based solution provider and Gateway channel partner. “They have had difficulties, in my opinion, with quality of product. And so our emphasis on Gateway has actually declined.”

Last month, Gateway reported first quarter revenue of $1.08 billion, compared with $838 million for the year-ago quarter. Conversely, the company posted a loss of $12 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $5.1 million for the same quarter in 2005.