Apple Inc. is broadening the way it works with resellers in a bid to put more iPhones, iPads, and Macs inside of cubicle walls and working with solution-provider CDW on a new “Apple at Work” offering that is available across North America, CDW announced on Tuesday.
In Canada, the program will be run out of the Etobicoke, Ont.-based CDW Canada office. It will allow customers to acquire Apple products – which CDW claims are preferred by three out of four employees – and integrate them to work alongside their Windows-based P.C. environment.
CDW can help set up and support the new Apple products through the new program. The main benefit for businesses will be the ability to offer their employees more choice, says Daniel Reio, director of product and partner management at CDW Canada.
“Apple at Work is a rallying cry around the concept that we use Apple technology as consumers at home, but aren’t always able to use them in the workplace,” he says. “The ‘Wintel’ platform scenario has been solid for many years, but CDW is looking to assist customers in enabling Apple technology in their environments.”
CDW has been selling Apple devices to its customers for many years, Reio adds, selling Macs and iPads as customers requested them. But Apple computer sales were relatively small compared to the PCs shipped from Lenovo, Dell, and HP. The difference in what CDW is doing now is the extra services and support offered.
Reio says that support can be as simple as helping a business run Microsoft Office applications on a Mac, to running in-house applications through desktop virtualization software. “In a perfect world you could just buy a Mac and load it up with PC software, but in reality, there’s a little bit more work involved,” he says.
Apple has a reputation as preferring a direct sales model to one that involves channel players such as solution providers like CDW. But in the last couple of years, it appears to be steering its business strategy in a business direction. It’s worked with partners targeting the retail and restaurant verticals on delivering solutions that include self-service kiosks or service staff software. Examples in this area of business-to-consumer activity include Tulip Retail and Touch Bistro.
In 2017, Apple pushed further into the business-to-business area with Richmond Hill, Ont.-based Compugen. It added Apple’s hardware lineup to its Device as a Service (DaaS) program.
CDW’s approach is a more straight-forward sales of Apple devices, Reio says. CDW does offer financing options to its customers that include leasing and lifecycle management. Also, CDW has a Device as a Service offering in the works that will include Apple devices among others.