Page 1 of 3
D&H Distributing attracted more than 500 solution providers to its recent New England Technology Show in Quincy, Mass., where the distributor featured some of its newest products, including Microsoft Windows 8, Ultrabooks and more. CRN's Scott Campbell spoke with D&H co-president Michael Schwab to find out what products excite him these days and what areas solution providers should take a closer look at. Here's a look at what he had to say:
D&H and Microsoft had a big session on selling Windows 8 into small businesses here at the New England show. What are you expecting from the new OS this year?
It seems that in the IT community, we've got Windows 8, Server 2012 and a new Office launching. That's three new categories launching for the next five months, I guess. The key for success is training on the products on the programs. We started back in June in Hershey [at D&H's Summer Technology Show] and we're following up with it here and in Toronto in September for our Canadian resellers. At each show, we're demoing and communicating the details and product launches. We don't have pricing as of yet, so we can't take any backorders to gauge what demand is yet. Even from a tier-one [OEM] perspective, we don't have any SKUs set up yet for a new HP notebook or tablet with Windows 8. But, one observation of the demand out there in marketplace, particularly for the tablet, has been integration with legacy apps and full-featured functionality of PowerPoint, Word, Excel. Windows 8 truly does answer those demands. For as many Android tablets that we've sold, we think Windows 8 is a business-to-business solution that should see some immediate lift across multiple brands.
Have you noticed slower PC or tablet sales as a result of people waiting for Windows 8?
If you look at NPD reports or Gartner or IDC or anybody that tracks PC shipments, you can say there's been a lull in the market. Generally, my observation is before a major OS release, there is a period in time, say 60 days prior, where people take a wait-and-see approach. They buy what they need, understanding that things are fully upgradeable for a very cost-effective transition. But, the sense is customers also end up waiting. It goes back up the supply chain. You have end users wait, which means reseller wait, which means distributors are waiting, which means manufacturers waiting. The upside is when the product is released, there's a huge swing to positive demand of sales. The challenge now to then is making sure we're still selling current solutions.
Are you experiencing a bigger lull with notebooks or tablets as a result of waiting Windows 8?
The only difference is Windows 8 integrates a lot of touch as a feature set [of tablets], meaning notebooks don't have touch built into it. But, they don't have as many Windows 7 tablet offerings today. People say I can buy an Android tablet today or let's wait.