Channel Marker

Oct 6 2011   2:08AM GMT

Tech Data strikes deal with BlackBerry maker, Research in Motion

Heather Clancy Heather Clancy Profile: Heather Clancy

The BlackBerry mobile device may have gotten its start in the enterprise world, but Research in Motion is determined to help small and midsize businesses perceive its technology as indispensable.

The Canadian company signed a deal this week with distributor Tech Data to better support IT solution providers selling BlackBerry solutions into SMBs. Tech Data and its partner in this mobile venture, Brightstar, will facilitate the activation process, which can be a hang-up for solution providers seeking to include BlackBerry devices as part of a mobile solution but that haven’t previously been able to handle the transaction process very easily. The process is supported by TDMobility, a new service offered by ActivateIT (a joint venture of Tech Data and Brightstar).

Joe Quaglia, senior vice president of U.S. marketing for Tech Data, described the offering:

“RIM is a strategic vendor partner for our launch of TDMobility into the channel, and ActivateIT is key to making the complete solution possible. We formed a strategic alliance with Brightstar to enable just this kind of offering, and we’re excited to offer our reseller customers the opportunity to increase their footprint in the channel by making complete, end-to-end BlackBerry solutions more easily available.”

I have to admit, as cool as this announcement sounds, I find myself wondering: what took so long?

With due respect to Tech Data, RIM hasn’t seemed much interested in the value-added channel before, so I feel sort of cynical about its intentions. Especially given its recent travails. Still, TDMobility is definitely the sort of service that I hope the channel hears a lot more about as mobile device management becomes an increasingly complex proposition for SMBs.

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