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Beyond the Buzz
By George L. Koroneos
I don’t know anyone in this industry that isn’t excited to talk about the latest technology trends. Solution providers are passionate about their partner vendors, and buzz about new products usually starts way before the embargo period has passed. However the mood often shifts when the discussion turns to the impact these tools have on clients and the bottom line.
Mobility, the cloud distribution model, and virtualization are incredibly hot right now. Reams of articles have been written about the benefits of these new devices and platforms, not to mention the amount of dollars spent on R&D and marketing. But in the back of my mind, I always wonder, “How are VARs implementing these technologies into real-world solutions, what are the challenges involved in reselling them, and how are they impacting business?”
When I posed these questions to readers, I found that many solution providers are increasingly relying on their partners for support. In turn, vendors and distributors are going out of their way to provide resources and educational materials to help their partners better understand the technology they are reselling, and also how these new products and trends fit into the modern VAR business model. For example, Tech Data announced in February that it would help its VAR partners create mobile solutions by tying together its previously disparate mobile hardware, software, and cellular offerings into two end-to-end mobile solutions, thereby decreasing the barriers to entry for resellers. Not to be outdone, Ingram Micro, in late March, launched an entire mobile business unit (with its own leader) dedicated to selling, marketing, and distributing mobile technology and solutions.
For more about the benefits (and challenges) of mobile solutions, turn to this month’s cover story on page 12, where we take a serious look at the challenges inherent in rolling out a mobile solution in a field-service environment. Lisa Terry examines what part cloud software apps play in the equation, what types of products can be developed from the new breed of tablets, and whether consumer devices really pose a threat to hardened mobile solutions.
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