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In addition to customized apps, Tenet Computer Group offers a homegrown network management app, Mobile Alerts, and a corporate directories app, cDir. It also teamed up with fellow solution provider MicroTech to launch this month a new BlackBerry app PINpoint that ensures users documents and contact lists are always up-to-date with a network’s existing resources.
Jordan, Tenet's mobility sales and strategic alliances director, said that the development and offering of customized apps is Tenet’s way of ensuring a whole soup-to-nuts offering for customers. With today’s increasingly mobile workforce, a pure hardware offering is no longer enough.
"If you think back five or 10 years ago, there were companies that could survive just selling hardware. But now, if you’re just selling hardware, you’re like a duck sitting in open water," he said. "So now [it’s about] doing customization, getting into software development, being an ISV… you know, really taking care of the customer."
ViewSonic's Browne noted that these traditional or hardware-focused resellers can, in fact, move into the customized or single-function tablet space -- they just need to form some new partnerships first. Like resellers in the digital signage market, which also requires a unique mix of hardware, software, and AV technologies, partnerships may sometimes be needed to offer a fully customized, end-to-end mobile offering. These alliances, she said, often present new opportunities of their own.
"I would say you’d be hard-pressed to find a traditional VAR that can put together all of these components," Brown said. "Sometimes you just have to go to third-party partners to assist, and that’s not a bad thing. You can surround yourself with very strong third-party partners and all of sudden you’ve developed a group of like-minded partners who feed off of each other and who, before you know it, are coming up with ideas and new opportunities as a group."
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