Fruity tax-dodging cargo-cult Apple has just staged a night-of-the-long knives on its education partners culling them down to just 14.
Word on the street is that between 24 and 26 Apple Solution Experts – Education (ASE) previously, with Softcat, Insight and Misco are off the books.
All that are left are Academia, MCC, GBM, Trams, Albion, KRCS, Western Computer, Toucan, Jigsaw24, XMA, BT Direct Business, JTRS and for Ireland Wiggle and Compu b.
The theory is that Jobs’ Mon wants to push more through a smaller number of harder working channel partners in the education sector. Apple wants more sustainable services which wrap-around either the iPad or the Mac, apparently.
Apple’s relationship with the channel is fraught due to it being a little inflexible and always wanting things its way. It has been slowly reducing its resellers over the years as it leant on its own retail channel. This way it can have greater control over how its products are presented and with Apple, presentation is everything.
This being the case, the recent cull will probably do more to lesson Apple’s influence instead of promoting it.
Software king of the world Microsoft has been expanding its channel for its Surface tablets by adding more partners.
Six UK resellers into its authorised device reseller (ADR) programme including O2, Academia, XMA, PCS Business Systems, Storm and Total Computer Networks have signed up following a competitive tender process.
This means that there are now 14 ADR’s peddling the Surface in the UK.
Being an ADR gives resellers access to special bid pricing on volume Surfaces and the ability to provide extended warranty and a range of other value-add services around Microsoft’s slow-burner of a tablet.
The first batch of nine ADRs included Insight, SCC, Misco, Softcat, Phoenix Software, Kelway, CCS Media, Computacenter and SoftwareOne. Phoenix Software was less interested in hardware and left the programme two weeks ago to concentrate on software sales.
Microsoft’s Surface distribution strategy after the launch of Surface 3 was likely due its popularity and the fact that Microsoft’s tablet is being demanded by those who need a tablet for business rather than consumer use.
Surface sales started off poor but picked up and demand had been “very strong” since the ADR scheme was launched. Surface sales grew 24 per cent in 2014 driven largely by the Surface Pro 3 and accessories, he said.
giant International Business Machines (IBM) said it has now enrolled over 300 colleges and universities around the world in its Power Systems Academic Initiative (PSAI).
IBM said that the push is to help students learn skills related to big data, cloud computing, mobile and social networking.
That, said IBM, is important in today’s job market.
The initiative, which started in October 2012. has grown by 152 percent over the last two years, IBM claimed.
Schools and universities hooked up to IBM include New York University’s polytechnic school of engineering, Virginia Tech, the UK University of Greenwich, the University of Ulster, and Glasgow Caledonian University.
Of course, IBM’s move is not all altruism – it is pinning its future on cloud computing, big data, analytics and security.
Several of the academic bodies offer courses related to IBM specific operations, and the company said it recruit from universities and business schools.
Toshiba has been approved as a vendor in the new National Desktop and Notebook Agreement (NDNA) to provide PCs to universities, colleges and affiliated research institutions.
Toshiba is not new to NDNA, it has been on board for twelve years, but now it’s expanding its reach in Lot 2 of NDNA.
Toshiba will work with resellers Viglen, European Electronique, Iansyst and Academia to deliver its range of B2B products to NDNA members and it will offer a few perks as well. All products sold under the programme will come with an three-year on-site warranty, as well as an extended three-year battery warranty for Portege and Tecra laptops. End-users will also be allowed to retain their hard drives, so they can dispose of sensitive data as they choose.
“We’ve been working hard with our partners on supporting the education sector for many years, and to be re-awarded a place on the NDNA framework enables us to continue this practice.” commented Mark Byrne, Head of Public Sector, Toshiba UK. “As technology’s influence within the education sector continues to grow, we are delighted Toshiba continues to play a central role in these advances.”
The new NDNA framework went live on the 1st of August. Toshiba also noted that it remains committed to other educations programmes in the UK and the continent, such as European Schoolnet’s iTec and the UK Education Ambassadors programme.
Education technology group Academia is launching a new commercial business team within Academia Technology Group as a reseller for enterprise customers.
Leading the team will be Richard Faucher, who has previously worked at PC World, Misco, Insight, and Computacenter, and has 20+ years in the IT sector. It will be branded Academia for Business.
Academia hopes to built on its reputation as an existing Apple, Toshiba, Adobe, HP, and Microsoft supplier but to expand with mainstream server and storage to help business customers.
In a statement, Faucher said account managers will focus on different markets, including publishing and media, telecoms and technology, law and finance, and sports and leisure.