Tech Data Launches Apple-Focused Unit

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The AppleAdvantage specialized business unit will be a resource for Apple VARs that need help with sales support, product management and technical assistance.

Distributor Tech Data has begun offering its Apple solution providers a new program to help more profitably develop, sell and support Apple-based products for businesses.

The program, AppleAdvantage SBU (Specialized Business Unit), officially started in June and can be used as a resource for Apple VARs that need technical assistance, sales support or product management resources.

"Tech Data recognizes how critical it is that our Apple-centric resellers have quick and easy access to knowledgeable experts who understand the technology and trends driving their businesses," Pete Peterson, Tech Data's vice president of Systems Product Marketing, said in a release.

"When our customers contact the AppleAdvantage SBU, they're engaging a team of professionals who are well-versed in Apple solutions and backed by Tech Data's immense resources, leading technical expertise and broad product knowledge," Peterson said in the quote.

Angela S. O'Donnell, who co-owns W. O'Donnell Consulting in New York, has been working with Apple products for 10 years, specifically with network design and integration services.

Her firm usually deals with graphic-intensive SMBs (small and midsize businesses) such as public relations firms and real estate companies.

With the SBU, O'Donnell said her business has access to a wide variety of resources, such as infrastructure support and access to internal Tech Data people who specialize in Apple products.

O'Donnell's company works with a variety of Apple products, such as the Macintosh Xserve, PowerMac G6, iBook and all the software applications that come with those systems.

"It's really like an extension of your sales department," O'Donnell told Channel Insider. "We have access to resources we wouldn't otherwise have as a smaller company. It gives us a quick turnaround and they have information and programs about Mac services that are very helpful."

In addition to the technical assistance, Tech Data, based in Clearwater, Fla., will establish a Web resource center where VARs can access product and program information.

Also, Tech Data can host Apple solution providers in its TDSolutions Center, a 4,500-square-foot proof-of-concept lab showcasing a wide array of IT solutions including networking, VOIP (voice over IP), security, document management, professional audio/video, storage and video conferencing.

Tech Data is one of the largest distributors in the country and it had $20.5 billion in sales through the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31.

Apple will announce its third quarter earnings on July 19.


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