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As part of a major push to extend the reach of its mobile computing franchise, Samsung has forged a partnered with Tech Data to sell unlocked mobile computing devices via the channel.

The goal is to make it easier for solution providers to create mobile computing solutions that are not tightly coupled to wireless communications service contracts provided by a major telecommunications carrier, said Patrick Stokes, senior vice president for mobile solutions and retail at Tech Data.

“Solution providers want to be able to deliver a complete solution,” said Stokes. “And the fact is that IT organizations want more control over upgrades. Mobile devices last longer now, so they want to be able to treat phones like any other IT asset.”

As a result, IT organizations also want to be able to provide their end users with a much broader spectrum of mobile computing devices than might be available from any given carrier.

The key for solution providers, added Stokes, is to create higher-margin mobile computing solutions that incorporate mobile computing devices versus focusing on trying to resell low-margin devices only.

Jack Gold, principal analyst for J. Gold & Associates, a market research firm, said a major corporate push at Samsung is requiring the company to rely more on channel partners.

“Samsung wants to be a full-service provider,” said Gold. “The carriers pretty much only provide the device and the connectivity.”

Over time, that Samsung push, added Gold, will incorporate everything from secure mobile phones and tablets that employ the Samsung KNOX security framework to advanced augmented-reality headsets and a broad range of Internet of things devices. As part of that push, Samsung recently moved to acquire Joyent to create its own public cloud computing platform.

“You’re not going to make money reselling a device,” said Gold. “Samsung is targeting the enterprise because that’s where the money is.”

In many ways, the rise of mobile computing clearly passed large segments of the channel by, as most devices were sold direct. However, as mobile computing continues to evolve in the enterprise, the size and scope of the mobile opportunity is now moving well beyond the basic device.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.