Ryan Thomas, Tech Data

Tech Data invests in mixed and virtual reality in response to market demand

Tech Data is investing in driving forward its augmented and mixed reality solutions.

With the top three AR/VR solutions – Facebook Oculus, Microsoft Hololens, and Google Glass – already part of its portfolio, Tech Data is ideally-placed to support partners in meeting the rising tide of interest from both the commercial and public sectors in using augmented and mixed reality solutions for hands-on training.

Tech Data has appointed a dedicated business manager for mixed and virtual reality, Harry Ellis, who has been with the company for almost nine years as a category manager and account manager for major brands. He is now working with leading vendors and channel partners to identify and follow-up potential opportunities.

Ryan Thomasbusiness unit manager, mobile and consumer electronics, UK and Ireland, Tech Data, said: “We have always believed there was real potential in mixed and virtual reality in both the enterprise and consumer markets. With the partnerships we have in place, we’re ready to help our reseller partners explore the potential and open up new opportunities. We are already seeing a lot of interest in hands-on training and a couple of projects are being rolled-out by partners across the EMEA region. We see that as a key opportunity. Interest in healthcare and the public sector is also growing and we see good potential looking ahead to the rest of the year and beyond.”

While there is also interest from the retail sector (which Tech Data can also fulfil), the most promising opportunities are emerging in the enterprise market, for business simulations and staff training. Tech Data is working with a number of partners that also have expertise in the integration of cloud, collaboration, and IoT solutions.

“The breadth of Tech Data’s expertise in various emerging technologies is a real differentiator”, said Thomas. “It means that we can bring together all the pieces of the jigsaw – the cloud services and software, integration services, the sensors that might be required at the edge, and the AR/VR devices themselves, to support partners in delivering complete solutions that make use of mixed and augmented reality to solve real-world needs.”

Further investment and a complete programme of activity to support partners in understanding AR technologies, where they can be used most effectively, and how to take them to market, is now being planned by Tech Data. Full details will be available in due course.

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