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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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News & Articles

March 1, 2013 |

Tech Data ‘SKU-itizes’ Mobility

A year after the launch of TDMobility, the distributor is helping partners take advantage of mobile opportunities across the spectrum.

February marks the one-year anniversary of Tech Data Corp.’s full-channel launch of TDMobility, an end-to-end platform for selling mobile services. Joe Quaglia, the distributor’s senior vice president, U.S. marketing, and president, TDMobility, says Tech Data now has more than 600 resellers for TDMobility. And with an expected agreement with Verizon to be in place at press time, the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor will have agreements with all the major wireless carriers, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint.

“Many [resellers] have tried in the past to launch mobility practices in their portfolio, only to run into many challenges operationally and financially. TDMobility knocks those barriers down,” says Quaglia.

The platform includes mobile hardware, software, service plans, line activation, and billing. “We insulate partners from all the carriers,” Quaglia explains. TDMobility offers heterogeneous support for carriers, devices, and service plans, he says, “aggregated under one pane of glass.”

Sealing the deal with Verizon is important, Quaglia says. “We can only say we’re heterogeneous when we have all four [major wireless carriers]. Until then we don’t have a fully aggregated model. It really opens up the aperture and a full solution for our partners.”

TDMobility includes CellManage and TDActivate. CellManage enables VARs to manage multiple cellular lines through a single portal for their customers, including bills, deployments, asset tracking, and procurement. TDActivate subsidizes hardware and pays a portion of the commission up front to each reseller. Resellers also have access to TDMobility University for sales and product training and demos.

By speeding commission to resellers when they activate a line, rather than having them wait the traditional 120 to 180 days from the carriers, Tech Data offers VARs “a way to make money and be positive [with] cash flow – two really key components,” explains Quaglia.

He adds that TDMobility makes the ordering of mobility solutions “as easy as buying a printer, laptop, or software.” Resellers use Tech Data’s existing ordering system, credit facility, and relationships with other resellers. TDMobility “SKU-itizes” mobility, Quaglia says.

MONEY IN MOBILITY
Helping partners stay relevant with mobility and cloud opportunities is a pledge Tech Data reiterated at its partner conference in November. While mobility is not new, Quaglia says it had not garnered attention, volume, and scale until the past 12 months. “There’s still a lot of money to be made and solutions to deliver,” he notes. “And the category itself is expanding – it’s not just handsets and rate plans, but mobile device management, security of mobile devices, and BYOD.” Tech Data has solutions to help partners take advantage of mobile opportunities across the spectrum, he adds, from the data center to mobile devices.

At the conference, Quaglia says there was a lot of focus on channel enablement, “taking them through business-building categories like mobility and cloud, our Cisco Momentum offering [to simplify sales of the Cisco portfolio], getting them excited and overcoming frustrations in these areas that are complex and new.” He says resellers are looking for help with launching and monetizing the new opportunities in the market.

Despite the lingering slow economy, Quaglia heard from many resellers that 2012 was their best year overall. He attributes that to two factors. One, he says Tech Data’s SMB business has been its highest growth category, with vendors investing in Tech Data to help them open the SMB reseller channel. “That’s why we launched TDPrioritySMB” in October, a dedicated program to provide SMB resellers with specialized sales support, services, and credit options.

Second, he says, many resellers have already made the transition to selling solutions and services, and they’re having the lion’s share of success. “I believe 2013 will be the year of cloud and services, and solutions providers who will start to break away from the pack.”

For TDMobility specifically, Quaglia says Tech Data will be coming out with a BYOD solution for resellers that enables them to provide end users with a storefront from Tech Data’s catalog with their corporate discount. “The premise is to have a controlled buying and operating experience for IT leaders and corporate employees who are individually liable for their usage but under a corporate umbrella where data is secure,” says Quaglia. He says to expect further information around a catalog-type offering during the first part of the year, as well as more solutions coming out around the expected Verizon agreement.


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