Tech Data Enhances Services for Elite Reseller Group

By Al Senia

May 16, 2008

Distributor Tech Data Corp. is beefing up its marketing services for its elite TechSelect reseller group that targets the SMB market by launching a new branding effort and creating new partnership opportunities.

At the company's spring TechSelect partner summit in Las Vegas, Tech Data executives said they want to help channel partners better differentiate themselves in the IT solution marketplace by allowing them to use a TechSelect Partner logo and providing access to improved branding marketing material.

 "Being a part of TechSelect  has tremendous value," said Katie Dumala, Tech Data's vice president, marketing services. "Our new TechSelect Partner branding will help members market that value to end users, other resellers and vendors. The TechSelect Partner branding lets end users and the channel know that our members are among the elite SMB resellers in the country, and that they are backed by more than 450 peers nationwide and the extensive resources of an international market leader like Tech Data."

At the conference, which attracted an estimated 250 resellers and 150 vendors, Tech Data also formed two new tracks of its Peer Discussion Group focused on service management and marketing. The groups are basically advanced, expert-led workshops that enable resellers to collaborate on improving their businesses. The first peer group launched last year focused on profitability. The peer groups operate year-round to provide members with information they can use to critically review their operations, implement improvement projects and evaluate results.
Channel partners said the Peer Discussion Groups are useful collaborative tools. "The profitability Peer Discussion Group was one of the most valuable  business-related sessions we've ever been a part of," said John Gray, vice president of CHS Technology  "While we knew we may have been able to handle our books and run our business more efficiently, these discussions helped us  realize many improvement opportunities of which we weren't aware. Most important, however, was that we were able to measure ourselves against other  resellers who we respect and trust."
Tech Data's new branding effort involves distributing a branding kit to partners that includes the TechSelect
Partner logo and customizable advertising copy for use in printed materials, promotional items, Web sites and bid proposals. The kit also offers suggestions for how the TechSelect Partner logo can be used to support the reseller's own brand, which remains the main centerpiece.

Tech Data executives said enabling partnerships was a key focus of this year's TechSelect event. "Facilitating new and stronger partnerships among our TechSelect membership is the driving force behind this year's spring event," said Murray Wright, senior vice president, U.S. sales, in a prepared statement. "Whether it's deploying new technologies they're not yet familiar with, supporting a customer's satellite office beyond their usual territory or being able to benchmark  private financial data against trusted peers, TechSelect members turn to one  another every day to help grow their businesses. We are committed  to providing them with more efficient and creative ways to partner so they can be even more successful."
Tech Data also enhanced its techselect.com membership portal by including a new partner locator that allows members to better  identify others they would  like to partner with based on geography or technical specialties .The conference also features an interactive session on leveraging Web 2.0 tools and other social media vehicles for resellers to market their businesses more effectively over the Internet to end users and other resellers.