D&H Distributing unveiled a line of resources aimed at helping solution providers better determine which mobile devices, including notebook PCs and tablets, will best meet the needs of their end customers.
The first resource and the one with the most potential impact is the naming of a PC/Tablet Retail Planning Specialist, a role that is being taken on by Ben Wilhelm, former key account sales manager at D&H. In his new role, Wilhelm will be responsible for managing and forecasting D&H's inventory of traditional notebook PCs and tablets and helping guide D&H's retail and solution provider channels with insight into product life cycles, functionality, and which device would best the meets of different end users.
D&H, Harrisburg, Pa., plans to add more mobility-specific resources for solution providers over time but hasn't specified what they will be.
[Related: D&H: Start Talking Ultrabooks, Windows 8 Now]
According to Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales at D&H, solution providers have more opportunities in the mobility market than ever before, as they are helping clients manage and secure the growing number of smartphones, tablets and notebooks pouring into the enterprise as part of the BYOD phenomenon. But as much as the mobility market may be brimming with opportunity, it also can be overwhelming to navigate.
"This business in general is very dynamic, but this category [mobility] is particularly dynamic and very fluid right now, with all the products being introduced around Windows 8, of course, and then you've got Ultrabooks, you've got new tablets, you've got Android, you've got Win 8 tablets coming," Davis told CRN.
D&H can help solution providers sift through all these products and identify which would provide the greatest value to end clients. What's more, solution providers will be able to tap into a database that shows which tablets or notebooks are the best-selling, gaining greater visibility into the overall mobile market.
"We're going to have a pretty strong database of what's selling in the marketplace," Davis said. "We are going to have probably, I would guess, 30 to 40 to 50 different tablets [in the database], so [solution providers can] figure out, 'What's the best tablet for my business segment, what's the right tablet if I go in and I'm working with a small doctor's office in my area, what's the right type of tablet I should be recommending and talking to them about?' "
Davis said he envisions a whole team of mobility planning specialists taking shape within D&H, especially as the market braces for the long-awaited arrival of Microsoft's Windows 8.
"It's just a lot of moving parts, a lot of products. It's a big transition year with the new [Windows] operating system, and high introduction of a lot of tablets around the 7-inch space and the 10-inch space," Davis said. "So we just feel like it's good to have an additional resource really monitoring the planning, forecasting and the life cycle of the products, and really just trying to add better intelligence around this dynamic and fast-growing category."
PUBLISHED SEPT. 24, 2012