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VARs that have obtained MTC certification told CRN that it's already paying dividends. "Our Apple business has grown pretty significantly [since obtaining MTC], and the real opportunity is on the services side," said John Convery, executive vice president of vendor relations and marketing at Denali Advanced Integration, a Redmond, Wash.-based solution provider.
Marco Nielsen, vice president of services for Enterprise Mobile, a Plano, Texas-based services firm that was acquired by Intermec in March, has completed the MTC certification himself and has signed up four of his employees to do the same. So far, he's impressed with the impact MTC is having in sales discussions.
"It definitely helps. My team is involved in the pre-sales cycle and talking to customers about services. Customers like the fact that there's a certification now in place," Nielsen said.
MTC represents an official affiliation with Apple that solution providers can use for marketing purposes, and many are looking forward to the opportunity. "We're going to market this on our Web site and through direct mail. We're going to let people know that if that if they have Apple mobile devices and need implementation work, we're qualified to handle it," said TBC Net's Barnes.
While MTC represents a potential shift in Apple's approach to the channel, VARs are equally optimistic about the long-term implications of the company's recent flurry of channel hires. Stuart MacLennan, national director of sales at Apple, is in the process of re-building a channel team after the departure of several longtime Apple channel employees, an executive from one national solution provider told CRN.
Notable recent hires include Darci Reimund, former head of North American channels for Google Enterprise, who joined Apple in June as manager of business applications on the App Store and Mac App Store; and Steve Lieberman, manager of Apple's U.S. corporate reseller channel, who joined in September after a 15-year career at Hewlett-Packard, where he held a variety of channel storage sales roles.
NEXT: Is Apple Really Embracing The Channel?