Gateway picks NetCel360 as reseller for S'pore, HK

PC maker Gateway Inc has appointed Hong Kong-based NetCel360 Holdings as the exclusive reseller for its products in Singapore and Hong Kong.

SINGAPORE--PC maker Gateway Inc has appointed Hong Kong-based NetCel360 Holdings as the exclusive reseller for its products in Singapore and Hong Kong.

According to a statement, NetCel360--itself recently acquired by Nasdaq-listed Vsource Inc, a business process outsourcing and technology services company--will provide all sales and marketing services for Gateway products in the two markets.

NetCel360 will also operate Gateway retail stores, provide customer relationship management (CRM) services, and manage the latter's "delivery-to-your-door service", where customers receive direct delivery of customized computers.

"As of July 2, Vsource's regional Singapore office began directing the Gateway implementation," the statement said.

Gateway's Asian operations, meanwhile, will continue to oversee all branding and product management in both countries.

It will also retain responsibility for all warranties and technical support for its customers (both of which will remain unchanged), and serve as the "liaison between Vsource's team and Gateway's US headquarters", the statement added.

Both companies will jointly manage Gateway's Hong Kong and Singapore Web sites.

Why the move?
This announcement follows Gateway's recent closure of its Malaysian and Hong Kong operations. Gateway Asia Pacific has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, including manufacturing operations in Malacca, Malaysia.

In the last six months, it has cut about 250 of its 670 staff in the region, and outsourced its call center services, pre-delivery support, repair and onsite technical support for Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong to the Malaysian operations of Datacom and Unisys.

According to a spokesperson then, Gateway was "moving towards a new business model...(where) we will focus on brand management and product management while our partners will handle sales and marketing as well as customer service".

In the statement today, Vsource noted that it has offered employment to former Gateway sales and marketing staff.

Gateway spokesperson Kathy O'Brien could not confirm the number of employees taken on, but said: "Less than 200 people from Gateway were offered severance packages. About 90 percent of them were also offered positions with our partner companies (including Datacom, Unisys and Vsource)".

In April, the PC maker reported a pre-tax operating loss of US$6 million, or a penny per share after taxes, excluding special charges on first-quarter revenue of US$2.03 billion.

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