When I sat down to write this first Mac Technology Association article for PC Retail it struck me that before I launched into any extended channel?centric tirades, I should firstly give some serious thought as to exactly who will be reading this column.

Questions from the other side of the Channel

The very nature of this publication’s title – PC Retail – suggests this magazine is primarily Windows–focused, but the reality is very different.

The Mac Technology Association – or MTA, for short – has certainly always promoted PC Retail as a recommended read to our members in the Apple channel, and will continue to do so, because the content reveals extensive channel information about vendors and product opportunities that would otherwise bypass resellers who specialise in Apple systems.

So I realised this first column should be an introduction to the MTA, and what services are on offer to both Mac and Windows resellers.

Although most general trading conditions and issues are common to both channels, the truth is there are many challenges faced by Apple resellers which are unique to them.

There’s the competition from Apple itself to begin with… but more of that in future columns. Apple resellers have one overriding advantage in their channel over Windows; Mac buyers and users are unquestionably the most brand–loyal purchasers in the IT channel. The most dedicated Apple users of all are those who have made the ‘switch’ from Windows to Mac, and very few would ever consider doing the reverse.

And the support they’re looking for has to come from people who not only have the requisite Mac expertise, but also understand the mindset behind choosing to buy into the Apple platform in the first place.

Fundamentally, the Mac Technology Association is a communications channel between Apple resellers who traditionally resist talking directly to each other, and PC resellers who would like to make contact with their local Apple specialists who can provide these expert services in partnership with them.

In any given week, around 50 per cent of the calls and emails that the MTA receives are actually from Windows–selling computer shops and businesses who need help because they have current or potential customers who use Apple computers.

We also oversee the general standards of service quality that our members offer their clients – we have a Members Code of Practice in the same way that the PCA does – but it is our communications services that most resellers call on us for, and we welcome the opportunity of helping to form these partnerships. So please, give us a call or drop us an email if you want to know more.

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