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Tech Data today unveiled the latest in an ongoing series
of platforms and solutions designed to help its solution providers boost
productivity, reap new opportunities, and expand profits, with the debut of
accessTD during its TechSelect partner convention in Orlando.

A mobile application for Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, accessTD
features many of the same capabilities that solution providers use on the
distributor’s TechData.com website. In addition to product searches, availability,
and order-tracking, the tool provides solution providers with personalized
pricing and quotes based on their Tech Data IDs. Solution providers can add
their logos and mark-up, and email quotes directly to customers from the app.

“Everybody can pick, pack and ship and do that well in
the physical world. The question is, ‘How can someone take that supply chain
and transition that to the virtual world?’” said Joe Quaglia, senior vice president
of U.S. marketing at Tech Data, in an
interview.

The app, which is available now in the United States and
is expected to become in available in Canada next month, can be downloaded free
at Apple’s App Store.  Tech Data plans to
develop another app in HTML 5 that will work across other platforms such as
Android, while continuing to drill deep into Apple’s operating system based on
partners’ requests and feedback, said Phil Fillipelli, vice president of e-business,
in an interview.

TechSelect partners expect the app to help them quickly
check on and place orders, and answer customers’ questions while away from
their desks.

“I think anyway you can take those important business
systems with you so they’re available to you is fantastic,” said Angela O’Donnell,
president of W. O’Donnell Consulting, a Manhattan VAR that specializes in
publishing and healthcare customers.

StreamOne

 But accessTD is
not the only project under-development at the distributor recently. Tech Data
is looking to reduce the complexities typically associated with software
licensing. Currently in beta with 20 ISVs and 20 resellers, the StreamOne Solutions
Store is a business-to-business application-store that will give ISVs access to
Tech Data’s thousands of resellers, and give Tech Data solution providers
access to thousands of applications in a simple, easily-sellable format,
Quaglia said in an interview.

“We made a large IT and process and people investment
because we saw the opportunity for cloud and these hundreds of thousands of
ISVs out there that don’t have a route to market to the channel,” he said.

StreamOne provides a full-service online provisioning
platform from software and cloud providers for products and services such as
software, infrastructure, and electronic software download. Eventual reseller
benefits are expected to include recurring monthly revenue; downloadable
software titles; a consolidated monitoring dashboard; a white-label solutions
store for reseller ecommerce sites; enablement and training through TDCloud Academy;
industry-specific vertical solutions, and simplified billing management,
according to Tech Data. The white-label version is slated to be released in
spring, Fillipelli told Channel Insider.

In February, Tech Data released the first step of StreamOne,
a software license selector.

“We designed it and brought it to market because fewer
and fewer resellers were selling and getting involved in complex software
licensing,” Quaglia said. “Resellers were leaving revenue and margin on the
table. Now with software license revenue it’s a one, two, three, four step
process with 100 percent accuracy. It’s a process that went from days to
minutes.”

The software licensing tool has already been a big
time-saver for W.O’Donnell Consulting, said O’Donnell, especially when
comparing alternate permutations for a customer.

“To do that over the phone is painful and you always
worry there’ll be some information that’s missed. Their SKU Selector allows you
to go in, answer a few questions, and you know it’s correct. And you can save
it and go back to it at a later time. It makes it a lot less painful,” she
said. “And then you can go through and place an order.”