The way forward

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.
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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.


Sorry Apple - you have become too expensive

I thought it was about time I presented one of my more controversial commentaries. Lately, resellers have reminded me about one particular aspect of selling Macs that is now causing a noticeable problem.

So long, Computer Warehouse

I had this month?s column all sorted and almost finished when I was completely amazed by the extraordinary announcement that none other than Computer Warehouse had gone into liquidation.

The colour of value

A comment from a retailer - claiming that people are increasingly looking at touchscreen all-in-one devices for the family desktop - caught my eye again this month.

The way ahead for the indie channel

I have written before in this column about how important I believe it is for independent computer solution providers to turn their ?on the job? knowledge into industry recognised certifications. This becomes particularly relevant when the potential customer is a local or national government department or other government funded organisation.


A letter to Apple UK

Dear Apple, Firstly, I really, really want to say thanks for reading my column, because it was only recently that I had it confirmed. I know not everyone at Apple UK reads me, but some of you do. I wish I?d heard this directly from the source, but ? and I?ll sing this in my best Cliff Richard falsetto voice ? I guess ?we don?t talk anymore...?

The sharp end of the industry

I was recently asked by the organisers of the TCA Conference if I would like to give a ten minute ?pitch and bitch? presentation about the life of a small indie. Feeling very passionate about the retail business, I gave it a shot.

The end of an era

Time for a quick recap of the story so far. In June 2009, the merger of the Mac Technology Association and the PCA was announced and by September the effective combining of the two organisations was complete in all but one aspect ? our websites. There was simply too much Mac-channel specific information on the MTA website to allow us to turn it off.