Tech Data Plays Matchmaker to the VARs

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Updated: The distributor is teaming with an online matchmaking service so VARs can share technical skills and extend their geographic reach.

Distributor Tech Data Corp. is collaborating with ComputerRepair.com to help members of its TechSelect reseller group extend their geographic reach.

ComputerRepair, New York, is a web-based matchmaking service for VARs and integrators to borrow each other's technicians. A VAR with a customer with a branch outside of the VAR's geographic reach can tap another VAR through the service to do work at the branch. VARs can also use each other for additional technical skills.

Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data's TechSelect members focus on small and midsize business. By leveraging ComputerRepair, they potentially gain access to the the company's 11,000 service providers.

VARs gain the ability to extend their reach to every ZIP code, according to ComputerRepair. Participants may also work the receiving end of work orders to maximize the use of their technicians in the field.

The TechSource program, as Tech Data has named the ComputerRepair.com arrangement, allows resellers to set prices for IT service work and compete with ComputerRepair.com VARs for bids. Resellers perform the service on behalf of the VAR that opened the work order.

"Tech Data views professional IT services as the core of our [members'] businesses, and we are dedicated to helping them strengthen their ability to deliver those services," said Tom Ducatelli, Tech Data's senior vice president of U.S. sales, in a prepared statement.

Tech Data expects the ComputerRepair arrangement to boost its hardware sales. Competitor Ingram Micro has a services practice, Ingram Micro Services Network, that much like ComputerRepair matches VARs looking for geographic reach or additional technical skills.

Pointer Click here to read more about ComputerRepair.com and its channel goals.

ComputerRepair provides members with a "virtual national field service network," said Jeffrey Leventhal, president and CEO of ComputerRepair, a practice some TechSelect members employ informally already, said Steve Alexander, president of Third Eye Technologies Inc., in Valley Cottage, N.Y.

"There have been many occasions when we've had to rely on the relationships we've built with other TechSelect members to provide critical service to customers on our behalf," he said.

Additional ComputerRepair benefits include the following:

  • Guaranteed billing and payment as participants must deposit money with ComputerRepair before accepting bids for work. ComputerRepair makes the payment.

  • Real-time tracking of work order progress is available online 24 hours a day.

  • Dedicated Web portal for TechSelect members located at www.techselecttechsource.com.

    There is no fee for TechSource members to register with ComputerRepair.com, but all regular ComputerRepair fees apply, Tech Data said.

    Editor's Note: This story was updated to reflect that there is no fee for TechSource members to register with ComputerRepair.com, but all regular ComputerRepair fees apply.


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