Tech Data: Big Ambitions for Small Business Managed Services

I work in a small business. When it comes to technology, we have two goals: First, we hope to never hire a chief information officer. Second, we hope to outsource just about all of our technology infrastructure. If we fulfill the second goal, then it's quite simple for us to fulfill the first goal.

With these two goals in mind, I stumbled across an announcement from Tech Data, which plans to offer resellers converged IP services from XO Communications. Under terms of the deal, Tech Data's partners will be able to offer XO's SIP (session initiation protocol) services in tandem with Cisco unified communications technology.

Sounds promising. Now, for the challenge. When we recently leased an office on Long Island, the local cable company inundated us with IP telephony offers. In stark contrast, neither Tech Data nor its partners knew how to find us because we were a relatively new business.

The upshot: Big distributors and their VARs will certainly play in the managed services market. But when it comes to small business managed services, the traditional channel has to make sure it finds -- and services -- start-up organizations before big service providers come calling.

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