More than 15 billion mobile devices will be connected to the Internet by 2015, and Tech Data plans to help its partners cash in on that trend.
That was the message of Murray Wright, Tech Data's president of the Americas, during his keynote address at the distributor's bi-annual TechSelect conference in Puerto Rico Thursday morning. Wright, addressing the nearly 400 attendees at this week's event, stressed Tech Data's commitment to helping its partners compete and stay relevant in today's increasingly mobile and connected world.
"I want to make sure that you know that we are going to be there for you," Murray told the crowd. "We are focused on your success."
To ensure this success, Murray said Tech Data is investing more heavily than ever in mobility, having significantly increased its inventory of hot-selling mobile devices, including Apple's iPad, over the past few years.
"Three years ago in the U.S., we didn't sell any [tablets]," he said. "Last year we did over a billion [dollars in tablet sales]. Big market. Big market opportunity."
In February, Tech Data launched TDMobility, an offering the distributor dubbed the industry's first end-to-end platform to help VARs standardize the process through which they sell mobile hardware, software and service plans. The platform also facilitates the activation and billing processes behind every mobile sale, allowing partners to activate new lines on behalf of major mobile carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T, without having to actually reach out to the carriers themselves.
TDMobility is used today by 600 Tech Data partners. Stephanie Dash, a national account manager at Systms of New York, a Tech Data partner and solution provider based in Rochester, New York, said she came to TechSelect this week hoping to learn more about the offering, given the growing interest among her clients to embrace the BYOD trend.
"Mobile, security and mobile applications, I guess -- that's a whole, big subject right now and a big focus of our business," Dash said, adding that many of her clients are expressing a need for security solutions that can help remotely monitor and lock down mobile devices in BYOD landscapes.
Tech Data also announced Thursday that its accessTD mobile platform, which affords solution providers on-the-go access to Tech Data product availability, pricing, order tracking and quoting, is now available for Windows, Android and BlackBerry operating systems. The company's app will continue to be available for iOS devices, as well.
Tech Data's Wright said the distributor is also placing a growing emphasis on the data center and the cloud, two technologies that play heavily into today's "data explosion." Tech Data launched last month its own dedicated cloud business unit, under which its TDCloud offering now falls, to offer VARs enhanced sales and training resources related to cloud adoption.
PUBLISHED NOV. 8, 2012
This story was updated on Nov. 8, 2012, at 11:52 a.m. PST, to provide clarification made after press time regarding Tech Data's Murray Wright statement: "Three years ago in the U.S., we didn't sell any Apple iPads," he said. "Last year we did over a billion. Big market. Big market opportunity." Apple iPads was meant to represent overall tablets and not the specific Apple iPad product, and that the company did not sell over a billion Apple iPads but rather did over a billion dollars in tablet sales. Additionally, the company clarified that TDMobility is used today by 600 Tech Data partners and not 300.