Despite Mobility Certification, Microsoft Partners Still Not Feeling Love From Apple


Microsoft partners aren't the only ones eager to get a piece of the action. Mobility is expected to become a bigger part of the MSP business model in the future. One example is Level Platforms, Ottawa, Ontario, which has put several of its own partners through the MTC program.

Dave Sobel, director of partner community at Level Platforms, describes the MTC program as "unique and targeted," with standard elements, like sales enablement, and less standard ones, like role playing.

"Apple said it would build a targeted and engaged group of partners that would augment and be the services arm for its mobile business. In my mind, that is what it has done," Sobel said. "Our partners that have gone through the program have been very successful."

MTC partners told CRN they're still bullish about the long-term prospects of working with Apple. The company has introduced an affiliate program for members of the Apple Consultants Network, who can steer customers to the Apple Store and receive commissions of 2 percent to 3 percent. Though paltry, the fact that Apple is giving any sort of commission is noteworthy, sources told CRN.

Given the misconceptions about mobility that persist in the marketplace, and the notion of it being a consumer driven business, MTC partners believe they are well positioned in terms of services opportunities. They're hopeful that Apple will eventually start realizing that role of MTC partners is an important one.

"We are creating a new service space here, and that takes time and a lot of education," one MTC partner told CRN. "Until we can make clear that security matters even more with mobile devices, and that there is a right and wrong way to manage mobile devices on a company network, it will be a slow growth."

PUBLISHED JAN. 18, 2013