D&H VARs Contributed To The Microsoft Beta-Testing Process In A Windows 8 Public Preview Focus Group
At D&H’s Mid-Atlantic Summer Show, Select Resellers Were Given the Opportunity to Convene with a Microsoft Exec., Test Windows 8, and Offer Feedback During a Live “First Look” Event
HARRISBURG, PA – D&H Distributing, the leading North American computer products and consumer electronics distributor, held a focus group on the new Microsoft Windows 8 Operating system for ten of its SMB resellers. The event, called “First Look: The Windows 8 Experience,” took place during the distributor’s 2012 Mid-Atlantic Summer Technology Trade Show on June 21 in Hershey, PA.
The session allowed VARs from the region to test the proficiency and the look-and-feel of the new Windows 8 OS. The operating system was loaded onto a series of Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 23-inch touch screen all-in-one PCs, each complete with a Logitech MK320 wireless desktop package. Microsoft Partner Solutions Advisor Steve Deming, who led the session, gave the D&H resellers a rare opportunity to present their feedback directly to a Microsoft representative, making those VARs an active part of the vendor’s Beta test process for this highly-anticipated launch.
The focus group explored a roster of topics, from screen-based shortcuts, to the rationale behind the tile-based interface—which mimics features used on mobile devices from tablets to smartphones—to how the new Windows environment will affect resellers’ businesses. VARs were given a survey to express some of their preferences and responses; results below.
“We’re proud to help our VARs gain working knowledge of new products, and this is one of the most exciting, game-changing launches in years. The focus group allowed a group of our customers to not only educate themselves on an essential new computing ecosystem, but to personally deliver insight to the vendor about that ecosystem,” said Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales at D&H Distributing. “We leverage our trade shows to bring these hands-on opportunities directly to the reseller, either through exclusive sessions or via our entire exhibit floor, which is packed with new technologies representing sales opportunities in a multitude of verticals.”
“The focus group allowed us to participate in the introduction of a new product, which is something a solution provider doesn’t get to do very often,” said Simon Heintzelman of Millersburg Information Systems, a PA reseller who attended the session. “We were in the middle of an open conversation with a Microsoft executive, and were able to work with a functional copy of Windows 8 right along with that Microsoft rep. It helped us directly identify areas where VARs had questions or concerns, and gave us a better feel for how to help our customers get the most out of the new OS.”
Session Survey Results:
Focus group make-up:
- System builders/integrators - 60%
- VARs/solution providers - 50%
- Software/managed services - 10%
Top product categories of interest:
- Servers - 100%
- Cloud, software - tied at 90%
- Mobile computing; virtualization; surveillance and remote monitoring - tied at 70%
- Infrastructure and networking - 60%
- VoIP; system integration; licensing; printing and imaging - tied at 50%
OS-based technologies VARs have sold in the last six months, or intend to sell in the next six months (answers were the same for both questions)
- Windows – 100%
- Android – 40%
- iOS – 30%
Most important features of Windows 8:
- Support for both x86/x64 PCs and ARM tablets - 60%
- Touch-centric, tile-based user interface; better support for multiple monitors - tied at 20%
- Windows 8 Control Panel - 10%
Windows 8 formats that VARs expect to sell most:
- Branded desktops - 30%
- Branded tablets; branded laptops; system builds - tied at 20%
- Branded all-in-ones - 10%
Preferred resources for Windows 8 support:
- Trainings - 50%
- Vendor support - 30%
- Technical short programs; personal interaction - tied at 10%
Note that VARs could choose more than one description in some areas.
About D&H Distributing
As the nation’s leading technology distributor, D&H provides a wealth of resources to empower solution providers and consultants, delivering a broad selection of SMB categories, products and applications. The company’s offerings span server and infrastructure, SOHO and mobile applications, consumer electronics and gaming. D&H’s multi-market expertise, account-dedicated sales teams, sterling service and flexible financing options are unmatched in the industry.
With an impressive 94-year history serving as a trusted advisor to the reseller channel, D&H has been able to consistently reinvent itself based upon changing market conditions. The company prides itself on creating business partnerships with an astute focus on ease-of-doing-business, relationships, value, performance and service.
D&H was named Cisco’s Worldwide Small Business Distributor of the Year for 2010, won the Microsoft Licensing Operational Excellence Award seven years running and was named Microsoft’s OEM Distributor of the Year. The company ships out of five separate locations in North America, including its US headquarters in Harrisburg and its Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario. Additional US warehouses are located in Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; and Fresno, CA. Call D&H toll-free at - 800 340-1001 or visit www.dandh.com.
SOURCE: D&H Distributing