For the second month running, I managed to almost finish my column, all apart from the usual niceties of checking spelling and grammar – and then something happened to make me scrap the whole thing and start again from scratch.
This month I got invited to one of Apple’s ‘ReMix’ programme briefings at its impressive training centre in Hanover Street, around the corner from the Regent Street flagship Apple Store. The ReMix programme is a typical Apple-ism for a new policy that basically says: "Calling Apple resellers, we need your help with our major accounts." Reseller Mix – geddit? No, neither did I.
At this point, I’m sure a lot of my column readers who have been in the Apple channel for many years are simply not believing what I’ve just written. I’m sitting on a train travelling back home from the event, and I’m not certain I believe it either.
But it’s true – Apple UK appears to be changing; instead of jealously guarding all dealings with its list of 30- or-so major corporate accounts, it is actively broadcasting this register of companies along with the names of the Apple Account Managers who look after them, and is saying to the channel: "If you know or deal with anyone in these organisations that we don’t – or in any of their many dozens of subsidiary companies – then we’ll actually help you to do business with them."
This list comprises the recognised array of the largest publishing, print, broadcast, TV, film and video, internet, new media, advertising and marketing companies, all traditionally large Mac users. But Apple then went one further – it actually made a request for resellers to recognise, identify and contact other potential major accounts who were not on this list, with the objective of presenting the ‘Switch To Mac’ case and turning them into candidates for inclusion under this programme.
Now I’ll admit that this event was attended by key account managers from all the major Apple resellers, all of whom were already aware that Apple was rolling out this programme. But I couldn’t detect any reason whatsoever why a smaller, non-Authorised Apple Reseller who had the right contacts in any of these large companies couldn’t take advantage of this programme.
So the Mac Technology Association would like to put this new Apple attitude to the test; if you’re a non-authorised Apple reseller who is dealing with one of Apple UK’s known major accounts, or a subsidiary thereof, and would like to increase your presence in (and business with) that client, then please drop me a line and I’ll make contact with the relevant Apple Account Manager for that company to see how it responds.