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Tech Data launches mobile technology management services

After a roughly eight-month pilot, distributor Tech Data is rolling out its TDMobility service line to VARs and resellers. The goal is to help technology solution providers work more closely with small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to manage their mobile gadgets and wireless services, according to Tech Data executives.

“It really insulates the VAR from the complexity of buying, selling and servicing mobility solutions,” said Joseph Quaglia, president of TDMobility. The division is operated by ActivateIT, which is a joint venture between Tech Data and Brightstar Corp.

There are two services initially being offered under the TDMobility umbrella. CellManage is a service that lets VARs manage multiple cellular lines through a single portal providing access to billing, deployment, asset tracking and other procurement information. The other service, called TDActivate, enables VARs to participate in provisioning hardware.

The services are available in the United States. Charles Kriete, executive vice president of TDMobility, said the services currently support three major wireless carriers: AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. (Not Verizon.) The distributor also provides solution providers with the ability to manage BlackBerry services (which is considered a separate offering). The length of the wireless contracts, as well as the commission that is paid to the solution provider for recommending or selling a given service or piece of hardware will depend on the sorts of solutions that it is representing, Kriete said.

Don’t make the mistake of limit the definition of mobility to mobile phones or smartphones. TDMobility will cover the gamut of technologies that make up mobile solutions, including rugged or specialty handheld devices, notebooks with broadband connectivity, and telemetry applications.

Solution providers will need to submit an application before they can represent TDMobility services, Tech Data executives said. For the time being, at least, they will need to apply separately to work with each carrier.

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