D&H is expanding its already robust education resources for VARs with a collection of new technologies, support and training to help partners take advantage of a booming K-12 market.
More specifically, D&H is bolstering its education program with competitively priced hardware inventory, webcast training, sales and marketing support and contract bid process assistance. The new initiatives will help resellers take advantage of expanding demand for connectivity and technology solutions in the K-12 markets, the company said.
The distributor's push is in response to both government and vendor incentives in education, including the "ConnectED" initiative to help promote wireless connectivity in schools, the "Common Core State Standards," which is pushing schools to increase technology usage, and Microsoft's "Shape the Future" program to bring tech funding into government and education.
"The education marketplace can be complicated to navigate, often involving federal or state-based parameters and arduous application processes," Larry Staub, director of the education division at D&H, said in a prepared statement.
"D&H will use the resources at its disposal to help support resellers, advising them as to the types of solutions, products and infrastructures they can choose to fulfill bids. We offer a selection of affordable, high-quality devices both from the Chrome and the Windows perspective, and we have the expertise to help solution providers create the best solutions for successful and cost-effective K-12 environments."
A new website launched by the distributor is helping give tips on K-12 solutions, program information and webcasts, such as one just held called "Capitalizing on Business Opportunities in K-12." The distributor said some of its upcoming trade shows will focus on education, with education products such as Chromebooks for resellers to test out. It also will hold education-focused seminars.
D&H also is offering a market library with education-focused materials that can be branded and customized for a VAR and its clients. Beyond marketing, the distributor said it plans to bolster its services to help resellers with the contract bid process, including pricing and smooth procurement.
The distributor said it is partnering with vendors Acer, Asus, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Samsung on educational products for laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, desktops and more. The offerings will include both Microsoft Windows and Chrome OS options.
Indy Batra, CEO of MJP Technologies, a Ventura, Calif.-based D&H partner, said that education is a "critical" market for his business, especially within the last year as the economy picks up and California pushes more funding into education.
"This year, I'm sure the manufacturers are caught off-guard, the distributors are caught off-guard and even we are caught off-guard. This year, we probably are seeing a 150 percent increase in our business, which we have never ever seen," Batra said, mentioning that the previous highest increase in yearly business was 35 percent.
In particular, Batra said D&H is helping his 15-person business by holding purchased inventory until they were ready to use it, extending lines of credit and negotiating down vendor prices to make deals.
"D&H is making it a lot easier for us to process everything. We ask Acer to set up special pricing with D&H for us," Batra said. "D&H has played a big role in our success also, and they are doing the best they can to help a small business like ours."
PUBLISHED MAY 29, 2014