United Kingdom: broadliner Tech Data is driving efficiency and making it easier for resellers to do business by launching a mobile-optimised version of its InTouch ecommerce site and providing new interactive features that will help them to engage with customers on the spot and deliver an enhanced experience and higher levels of service.
The mobile-optimised site brings the comprehensive access to real-time product information, availability and pricing to resellers' smartphone and tablet screens. It is designed to look and feel like the smartphone apps everyone now uses on a daily basis. It comes with all the core functionality of InTouch, while making the mobile pages friendly and intuitive, so that resellers can use them to interact with customers and open up new opportunities.
A new 'invisible pricing mode' feature allows products to shown on the screen of a smartphone or tablet without displaying the price. And for the first time ever, a limited version of the site (without price or availability) will be visible to everyone. This means it will not be necessary to have a Tech Data account or log-in to see product details, so resellers and customers can get a quick snapshot of products at any time. Resellers can access all the main functions of InTouch on the mobile version, such as product search and information, ordering and tracking. They can also use the desktop and mobile sites in tandem, transferring a shopping basket from a mobile device to a team member in their office to maintain centralised control of purchasing.
Cathi Low, Director SMB at Tech Data, said: "our customers have been asking for a mobile-optimised version of InTouch, and a lot of thought, time and effort has gone into making the site really intuitive and responsive. It will be a really useful tool for all resellers and especially those with field sales teams using smartphones or tablets. New features such as invisible pricing and open access will make it much easier to share information, so resellers can explore the options, interact with customers and address potential opportunities on the spot. It will enhance the experience for everyone, make it easier to do business, and help resellers deliver a better service and do more business."
Tech Data has also made improvements to its desktop website, introducing redesigned product pages and new Category Stores that make it easier and faster to find products. There are Category Stores for Smartphones; Laptops; Tablets; Components; Supplies; Wearables; and CAD. In addition, it has sharpened up navigation for its online Configurators, which provide a convenient way to identify, build, and order everything from simple memory modules to NAS and complete servers. There are 30 of these fully-populated areas now and Tech Data is planning to introduce even more in the coming months, making it easier for customers to build quotes for complex systems and find appropriate and compatible add-ons and accessories quickly. Improvements have also been made to ensure systems run smoothly and that the ordering process is as streamlined and efficient as possible for customers. The enhancements will ensure that Tech Data continues to lead the way in e-commerce online services for the channel, said Low. "InTouch is already the leading website for UK resellers and retailers. It provides our customers with access to the widest range of products and it is constantly updated with promotions and product information, rich data content and specification sheets. InTouch is designed to allow our customers to respond to the needs of end-users instantly, enhance the service they deliver and increase their sales. The new mobile-optimised version and the additional desktop features make it an even more useful and productive tool for them."
Every month, InTouch is used by over 100,000 channel personnel across 5000 resellers. More than 70 percent of SMB business is placed electronically. As well as making it straightforward for them to find products and place orders, InTouch enables resellers to access various options and services, such as bid pricing and pre-configuration. It also provides the capability to review the progress of orders, track delivery, and obtain details such as product serial numbers and copy invoices or other documents. Credit accounts and returns can also be managed through the system. All of these automated processes increase efficiency and help customers reduce the time and costs associated with managing orders and deliveries.
Broadliner Tech Data has unveiled enhancements to StreamOne, the company's platform that powers its award-winning Cloud Solutions Store. StreamOne, which enables partners to offer and scale cloud and subscription services, now gives solution providers the capability to customise their own online cloud store or integrate with the Tech Data Cloud Solutions Store. Additionally, the company announced an agreement with Global Knowledge, a leading provider of learning services and professional development solutions, to provide cloud business assessments through its Tech Data Cloud business unit. The announcements were made in conjunction with Tech Data's participation in Microsoft's 2016 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), held last week in Toronto.
"Our enhancements to the StreamOne platform enable solution providers to do what they do best—solve their clients' problems—while leaving the rest to us", said John Tonnison, executive vice president, Cloud Computing and chief information officer at Tech Data. "Tech Data's ability to offer the right mix of customised solutions, education, and programs for our customers uniquely positions us to propel them on their individual cloud journeys. Combining our competence and strength in the on-prem market with our strategic investments in the mobile, cloud, and IoT markets, Tech Data is well-equipped to empower our resellers in the hybrid world, where the business of IT will soon take place."
Tech Data's StreamOne platform now offers more flexibility and functionality for solution providers and managed service providers (MSPs), who can now launch a private label cloud store or integrate Tech Data Cloud’s services into an existing e-commerce environment. Tech Data Cloud has also developed APIs to validate Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) identification and existing Cloud Service Provider (CSP) tenants, improving processes to migrate customers from Microsoft's Advisor and Open programs to Microsoft CSPs. The enhancements to StreamOne include:
Tech Data Cloud's Private Label Marketplace, powered by StreamOne, enables solution providers and MSPs to implement a customizable e-commerce platform powered by the Tech Data Cloud Solutions Store. The Private Label Marketplace provides a complete purchasing experience for Microsoft CSP products, including automated provisioning and flexible billing cycles, as well as the ability to bundle Microsoft products with a partners' services or as add-ons.
StreamOne APIs enable partners to leverage their existing e-commerce and in-house systems while connecting to the Tech Data Cloud Solution Store for cloud service catalogues, ordering, subscription management, and billing management. Tech Data offers a complete set of StreamOne APIs, as well as partner support.
Microsoft Azure available via the Microsoft CSP program provides partners with instant access to pre-configured bundles, including backup, site recovery, file storage, SQL Server, and Virtual Machines. The fully automated process enables partners to purchase, provision, and manage cloud solutions in a true consumption-based model.
These new offerings are available immediately in the United States and Europe through Tech Data offices in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Availability in Canada is expected in the autumn.
"As the amount of data businesses are generating increases, their capacity—both in terms of physical infrastructure and staff bandwidth—can't keep up, and the need for more hybrid and cloud environments will become increasingly necessary", said David Smith, vice president, Worldwide SMB at Microsoft. "Tech Data's StreamOne platform has evolved to help resellers meet the new demands of the market and we look forward to their continued partnership as our solution providers adopt the future of cloud."
Tech Data Cloud has also added Global Knowledge to its Cloud Mastery Journey, a program designed to help solution providers build fully-optimised cloud businesses. Through the agreement with Global Knowledge, Tech Data Cloud now offers the Cloud Mastery Assessment (CMA) tool, which assesses cloud practice capabilities and provides practical resources to help build successful cloud partner practices. Once the CMA tool has been used to identify areas for operational improvement, partners can then engage in consultant-led workshops to accelerate a personalised journey specifically tailored to fit their cloud business practice. The CMA tool is now available to solution providers through Tech Data Cloud in the United States and Europe, with availability in Canada coming this autumn.
Broadliner Tech Data has launched its new Internet of Things (IoT) business practice, Smart IoT Solutions by Tech Data. The new practice, designed to aggregate IoT solutions and provide a simplified route to the rapidly expanding IoT market for solution providers, will be led by company veteran Victor Paradell, vice president, IoT Solutions, Europe. The announcement was made in conjunction with Tech Data's participation in Microsoft's 2016 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), being held this week in Toronto.
According to Gartner in their "Forecast Analysis: Internet of Things - Endpoints, Worldwide, 2015 update" published in December 2015, endpoints of IoT are predicted to grow at a 32% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 through 2020, reaching an installed base of 21 billion units, with almost two-thirds of them consumer applications. With such explosive growth expected, solution providers need clarity, education, and an effective route to market.
"If you were to ask 100 people in the IT channel what IoT means to them, you would get almost 100 different answers - and most would be correct", said Paradell. "As IoT continues to expand and surround us in our lives, much remains to be understood about the market. Tech Data is positioned at a very advantageous point in the IoT ecosystem - right in the middle - to provide our customers with all the pieces necessary to deploy complete IoT solutions. Through our new Smart IoT Solutions business practice, we are helping solution providers understand and enter the IoT market, as well as capitalise on the opportunities that currently exist within it."
Smart IoT Solutions by Tech Data enable system integrators, value-added resellers (VARs), and managed service providers (MSPs) to build their IoT businesses. As an IoT solutions aggregator, Tech Data leverages its trusted partnerships within its technology partner ecosystem, as well as its strength and expertise in the solution provider market, to help customers deploy IoT solutions to their end users - from fulfillment and security to data analytics and applications. Through Tech Data's smart service enablement framework, the Smart IoT Solutions team also offers the value-added services needed for solution providers to connect the dots from solution design to data-driven services. The Smart IoT Solutions practice will be primarily focused on four key verticals: manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, and smart spaces, which include building safety and security, smart parking, and energy optimisation. Paradell joined Tech Data in 1996 as a team leader in the company's IT department and has held positions of increasing responsibility and scope over the past 20 years. Prior to his current role, he served as vice president, Operational Effectiveness and Strategy for Tech Data Europe from March 2013 to March 2016. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science engineering from The Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and an MBA from the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.
TD Datech, Tech Data’s specialist brand for professional design software, has become the first distributor to offer monthly and annual Autodesk Subscription Auto-Renew to its reseller partners, providing easy and affordable access to the full range of Autodesk subscriptions. “This breakthrough is the result of the very close co-operation between TD Datech and Autodesk and is a further milestone in TD Datech’s journey to delivering true value added digital distribution to our reseller partners”, said Mike Appel, vice president, TD Datech and Enterprise Software at Tech Data. “With Autodesk Subscription Auto-Renew, we are providing tools and processes to further automate order processing with our resellers, while also enabling our resellers to similarly automate their own customer transactions. This means our resellers have more time to sell and engage with their existing customers, helping them with the solutions they need to drive their businesses.”
Autodesk Subscription Auto-Renew is a new way of consuming and paying for access to Autodesk software. Specifically, the monthly subscription offering gives resellers new business opportunities with new end-users due to the affordable price point and the ability to turn access on and off easily. These end-users can now utilise Autodesk software to compete for new work, complete existing projects more effectively and collaborate with the wider Autodesk community. Existing Autodesk end-users can benefit from Autodesk Subscription Auto-Renew as it is the easiest and most flexible way to manage Autodesk subscriptions in line with their changing staff and project needs. Auto Renew is fully integrated into Tech Data’s e-commerce platforms, providing a seamless process for resellers who wish to adopt and sell Autodesk licenses. Resellers have full access to contract details through the TD Datech Subscription Dashboard and will receive reminders of contracts 5 days prior to expiry. Autodesk Subscription Auto-Renew delivers increased flexibility and reduced administration for resellers and their customers, streamlining access to the world’s leading design solutions from Autodesk. TD Datech Auto-Renew feature is officially available through TD Datech offices in Germany, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Distree 2016: a fill of innovations
After a two-year gap, ITdistri was back at Distree EMEA. The event has evolved, becoming much larger in terms of surface area and number of exhibitors. Some visitors regretted a lack of major vendors, while others wished more African retailers and distributors: "in the past, we liked to come to Distree EMEA to meet companies from the whole region. Now, if we want to expand our coverage of the African continent, we ought to go to Distree Africa, which means more costs and time consumed for us. And even there, we will miss many French speaking distributors", one of them said anonymously. Nevertheless, the event was a success, with about 250 distributors, 150 retailers and etailers and about 130 exhibitors (including about 15 distributors wishing to expand their business in Europe or meet some of their existing customers in the region, including ABC Data, ATC, Avnet Technology Solutions, Daymen, GTI, IDCP, Inforlandia, Innelec Multimédia, Nedis, NTT System, Proks, PSA Parts, Tech Data Europe and Tekpoint). Singapore came in force, with a contingent of 10 companies overseen by the Singaporean-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Beside their one-to-one meetings, visitors could participate to workshops, conferences and keynote, to get valuable insight about the major trends of the consumer markets in the region, with analysts and consulting companies such as GfK, Early Metrics, Rude Baguette, Quadmark or Ocean Solutions.
The exhibit gave much room and space to wearables and smart objects. Among interesting vendors, ITdistri has selected the following companies:
New vendors were not the only ones to present new products. Aiptek presented, a few days before the Cebit event in Germany, its DG-VTa, a dongle which can be connected easily via HDMI to a beamer to turn any projection surface into an interactive touchscreen display. The supplied pen serves as a sensor – when running it over the projection surface, the "DG-VTa" notices it like a touchscreen and transfers the signals accordingly. Inno3d, which is better know for its graphic cards, was showcasing its 3D printers (distributed quietly since a few month by German distributor API) and its Bluetooth LED bulbs. So, more than ever, Distree remains the place to be, to discover the major trends and new products to be distributed in the EMEA region over the months and years to come…
TD Datech UK
TD Datech UK
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