The future is bright for new and integrated Tech Data Mobile

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Past year has seen distributor grow its mobile partner base by more than a third and the addition of four new vendor partners

Tech Data Mobile grew its mobile partner base by 35 per cent to more than 800 over the past 12 months, according to UK and Ireland managing director Peter Hubbard.

Hubbard (pictured), speaking in Barcelona,  says despite last year being a year of “consolidation” following the buyout of its joint-venture of Brightstar Europe for £220 million in November 2012, it managed to grow thanks to adding four new mobile vendors over the course of the year.

These included: Microsoft Devices (Nokia Lumia), Alcatel OneTouch, Huawei and Doro.

It also distributes Samsung, Motorola and Acer products and Hubbard says it would like to bring even more manufacturers on board.

“There’s lots of other partners I’d like to be doing business with – I want as broad a portfolio as possible, it makes us a more attractive proposition and will help us increase that partner base.”

A major part of Hubbard’s focus, since taking on the role a year ago from Stephen Nolan, has been on integrating its mobile offering into its huge base of IT resellers which also grew over the past year by 85 per cent to 13,800.

This opportunity was only possible following the Brightstar buyout. Revenue across the whole UK Group increased over the past year but Hubbard wouldn’t discuss specifics.

“The mobile business had previously run as a separate division due to the partnership with Brightstar,” he said. “My role was to get the whole business integrated into Tech Data, not just the systems, the CRM and all of that, but also to give it access to Tech Data UK’s huge salesforce.

“We have 160 salespeople (Tech Data UK as a whole) and that’s helped because they are all selling into the corporate, SMB and public sector contract.”

He wants to grow the mobile business into the IT space “significantly” over the next 12 months but refused to discuss firm targets. As part of these plans, which include offering mobile airtime and a trade-in programme it will launch the Tech Data Academy in April which will see its manufacturer partners undertaking education and training programmes, educating resellers on their mobility products. We already do it for non-mobile manufacturers and it is all about empowering IT resellers to sell mobility.”

He added that the launch of Google’s Android for Work programme, which the technology giant hopes will make it the B2B mobile market leader, means that the B2B market is “the next big battleground for mobile and it’s the next big opportunity”.

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