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Solution Providers don’t need to worry about competition
from Angry Birds: Enterprise Edition.

In fact, the must-have app for the iPhone and iPad – and now
the Mac via Apple’s recently launched Mac App Store – and its ilk may be good
for the channel and for Apple resellers looking to boost their businesses.

Apple’s Mac App Store opened shop on Jan. 6, and according
to solution providers and analysts, it won’t be taking business away from the
company’s resellers, and it may even help them generate new revenue streams
from customized solutions inspired by things customers find in the app store.

Apple said more than one million apps were downloaded on the
first day in a statement the company released on January 7. The company did not
have updated sales figures, a spokesperson told Channel Insider.

Kris Palen, director of marketing and communications for
TusHaus Computer Services in Milwaukee, Wis., said that she doesn’t see the Mac
App Store as competition, but rather another resource for her customers.

“It completes the package,” Palen said.  “There are a lot of really great things that
are out there.”

The business opportunity for TusHaus, she said, will come
from customized solutions.

“We look at the whole Mac world holistically, because we’re
helping a lot of our clients integrate Mac into their enterprise,” she said.

As more organizations integrate the iPad into their
enterprise IT portfolios, they’re likely to find gaps in the available software
offerings. “We want folks to take advantage of the things that are out there, and
if there’s something they want that they can’t find that’s where we’ll step

For Louis Hardin, president of Apple reseller Hardin
Computer in Arlington, Texas, the App Store hasn’t been an issue.

“I have not seen much of any difference for us. We’re just
now starting to get more into the retail front,” Hardin said. The company
recently moved headquarters to one with a larger showroom to increase their
retail operations.

“Our retail sales will increase, but for the last five years
or so it has really been more of a focus on service,” Hardin said. “There are
so many titles out there, that any time we’ve stocked software, it’s not
necessarily what people want.”

The App Store, he said, takes the pressure off. “I feel like
the app store is going to be a good thing, considering a client can get
anything they want in the first place. And there’s not a whole lot of margin on
software anyway.”

Darren Bibby, program director at IDC Software Channels
Research, said solution providers shouldn’t see the app store as a threat
because business customers will need higher-end products that require
integration and upkeep.

“A lot of the apps, especially on the iPhone and have been
for fun… there are some really cool thinks you can bring down to get a view on
your iPad or your iPhone,” Bibby said.

“There’s tremendous success when you’re talking about
consumer applications. It’s not going to be the same panacea for business
applications, especially if you get into more complex things for businesses to
buy that are also priced in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars.”

Yet certain aspects of the app store experience may cross
over, Bibby said, like user-generated reviews and commentary that will help customers
evaluate their options. And he anticipates business app stores will emerge, but
for lower end applications.

“I think that if it’s a simpler application, a simpler
solution to install, especially cloud or SAAS applications, those will be able
to go through these app stores. As soon as there’s real complexity or business
domain expertise, you’re never going to replace a consultant or a reseller,” he
said. “It would very much surprise me for anybody to be invoicing $10,000 over
the Internet.”