In the midst of a flurry of distributors beginning to offer the Google Chromebook Management Console in recent weeks, Tech Data said Monday that it would be the latest distributor to offer the technology, adding to its already robust Google portfolio.
Bringing on the Google Chromebook Management Console solution means the distributor is now offering the complete Google Chromebook portfolio to its partners. The solution itself is a web-based tool, enabling solution providers to both deploy and manage Chromebooks on a large scale.
Two other distributors also recently announced they would be offering the solution, with Synnex coming first in the beginning of January and D&H entering the fray just a week before Tech Data. Prior to those, the Console was only available directly from Google.
Despite being third to offer the solution, Tech Data Vice President of Marketing Wendy Linsky said that they are confident that the distributor's extensive existing Google portfolio will set it apart as others jump into the market.
"We may not have been the first to announce, but we are the largest distributor of Chromebooks in the U.S. We are well-versed in the product and ready to complete the solution and ready to roll," Linsky said, citing NPD numbers. "We've sold many Chromebooks to date. With the addition of our partnership with Google, this really expands our capabilities of offering the Google solutions," she said.
Linsky said that she has heard from partners that they are very excited about the news, especially as Tech Data continues to bolster its education presence, a market she said is "explosive."
"We believe this is the next big thing," Linsky said. "Based on our profile of customers and our strength in the SMB and education space, we believe our footprint of coverage will be best-in-class based on our knowledge of the products."
Tech Data is backing up the release with training, extensive in-house knowledge, grant writing, contract writing, configuration and more.
Bruce Enright, CEO of Lenexa, Kansas-based Tallgrass Technologies, said he is excited for Tech Data to offer the web-based management tool to solution providers.
"I think that it is brilliant, and it's definitely a major technology trend and program that we all in the VAR/solution provider space will need help in to get into that market," said Enright. ""It requires skills that we have and that we [also] don’t have, so Tech Data's position as a distributor will help [to bring their skills]."
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company will make more of an impact with his clients and in the market, Enright said.
"People are experimenting to see how it feels to make more of an investment in the Google platform," said Enright. "It's not just about Chromebooks, it's about the Google docs, Google apps, and it’s the whole movement behind the Google platform. They are capturing a meaningful market share with education and they are doing it very well."
Compared to other competitors in the market, Enright is confident that Google will continue to stand up.
"It will definitely be great to have Google along with Microsoft and others," said Enright. "There is plenty of room for both, and Google will continue to bring a meaningful platform or applications that [customers] rely on for their businesses."
PUBLISHED APRIL 28, 2014