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As the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend picks up pace, solution providers are facing new opportunities to deliver networking, security, and cloud offerings in the enterprise. But according to display and tablet manufacturer ViewSonic, BYOD opportunities for resellers are extending far beyond the commercial world, as more and more vertical markets seek customized, rather than out-of-the-box, mobile devices.
Colleen Browne, director of North American reseller and enterprise sales at ViewSonic, told CRN that ViewSonic partners are finding creative new ways to introduce tablets to their clients in vertical markets. These new opportunities have been spurred primarily by the demand for single-function tablets, Browne explained, or tablets that have been customized to perform a specific task, within a specific vertical market.
"We’re running into some interesting opportunities [with partners] that are not necessarily about mobility with tablets, or not necessarily about the traditional enterprise use of the tablets," she said. "These different opportunities with partners speak to the tablet as a single-purpose device, but they offer multiple advantages for the environment in which they are being used and I would say, too, for the reseller."
Browne gave an example of a ViewSonic reseller who customized tablets for a national fast food chain service, programming them as mini touch-screen menus that customers could use to place their orders at a table in lieu of waiting in line. Another reseller customized ViewSonic tablets for use in a large retail chain, positioning them as personal control panels in dressing rooms for users to manage lighting, music and other settings.
According to Browne, the best way for resellers to identify opportunities for customized or single-purpose tablets among clients is to look through the lens of an end customer.
"The opportunity for these single-purpose devices or solutions are only limited to a reseller’s imagination, because we’re all customers," Browne told CRN. "Any reseller can walk into any service or retail organization, look around, and say, 'How would I like my experience to be?' And then go work with a software partner or find those partners who can help bring that solution to be."
Rick Jordan, director of mobility sales and strategic alliances at Tenet Computer Group, a Toronto, Ontario-based solution provider and ViewSonic partner, told CRN that customized apps and software have become crucial to offering his end clients a full end-to-end mobile solution. So much so, in fact, that Tenet has dedicated a segment of its business specifically to app development.