Channel Marker

Mar 15 2008   8:27PM GMT

Tech Data wants you to step outside

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

Chances are at least SOME portion of your business comes from wireless networking at this point, but I’d bet most of it is of the indoor variety. Well, Tech Data is throwing down the gauntlet to some of the specialized wireless distributors through its new relationship with BIG Wireless, which sells various outdoor wireless technology and services.

The deal, which points back to Tech Data’s Wireless Specialized Business Unit, will let Tech Data VARs “purchase, brand and resell” BIG Wireless’s services. The company’s specialty is outdoor wireless for municipalities, corporate campuses or universities. These include wireless site surveys, point-to-point path studies, voice/video over wireless, GPS location, Federal Communications Commission licensing compliance and so on. Many of the more obscure requirements for outdoor wireless that a traditional solution provider might not have been able to invest in. If the reseller chooses, they can brand BIG Wireless’ services as their own.

How much business is in outdoor wireless? My gut is that it’s going to be sort of like Wi-Fi adoption: It will creep up in adoption for the right reason, it helps people do their jobs better. There will be some debates over format of course (ala the WiMax specification I wrote about in January), which is all the more reason why you might choose to team up with a company like BIG rather than investing in your technical skills right now.

Heather Clancy is a widely published business journalist and strategic channel communications consultant with SWOT Management Group. You can reach her at hclancy@swotmg.com.

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