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"Apple has been lean on the channel side for a very long time, but now they're growing their channel capability and evolving it," said the source, who requested anonymity. "They're doing well, but I do think they could do significantly better if they had more traditional approach."
In addition to being satisfied with his MTC certification, Convery is also encouraged by Apple's efforts to bring in experienced channel veterans. "They're really at the initial stages of building out their partner and VAR programs for enterprises," said Convery. "I’m confident that knowing most of the people joining the Apple team, they appreciate the power and reach of the channel."
Building a channel program takes time, particularly when it comes to building trust, and Apple certainly has plenty of work to do in this area. But as Daumard has shown, bringing in executives that understand the needs of the channel can have an immediate and profound impact, although it remains to be seen if it will be a lasting one.
For now, solution providers are ready to give Apple credit for recognizing the specialized skills that the channel can bring, even if they're not yet fully convinced that obtaining MTC certification will translate into more iPhone and iPad services business.
"We are unsure about what that really means," Heartland's Sorensen said. "More and more of our SMB customers are using iPhones and iPads, so we believe there is opportunity. But that is yet to be determined."