Tech Data, the big IT distributor, is particularly active today. The company is hitting the wires with three VAR- and MSP-related announcements. I hear more news related to managed service providers could be coming in the next few days.
In the meantime, Tech Data is promoting several partner-centric milestones, including the fact that the company's lead generation tool -- MyOpportunityTracker--has funneled more than 240,000 sales leads to partners. Here's a closer look at some of the Tech Data news, and its implications for managed service providers.
- MyOpportunityTracker: The tool is designed to help VARs spot potential service, warranty and software license renewal opportunities. The software license renewal feature is new, and covers products from more than 30 software companies. I'd like to know if this tool can plug into MSP platforms and professional service automation software (examples: Autotask and ConnectWise). I'm hoping to speak with Tech Data in the next few days and will raise the question.
- Partners Finding Partners: The distributor says it has enhanced its techselect.com membership portal with a new partner locator tool. The tool allows VARs to search for potential partners based on geography or technical specialties. This is part of a growing trend across the channel. Cisco in April 2008 noted that more than 30 percent of VAR revenue comes from deals involving other partners. Vendors are working overtime to help partners work with one another.
- TechSelect Branding: I'm a little skeptical about this next item. Tech Data says it has launched the TechSelect Partner branding program to help partners more effectively market their businesses to end users, resellers and vendors. Frankly, I think MSPs and VARs need to brand their own companies and services more aggressively, while using vendor logos only as a secondary tool -- if at all.