Edtech and Imagetext expect significant boosts to their businesses by becoming authorised education resellers for Apple.
The companies have closely followed Cyclone Computers, which gained Apple authorised reseller status late last month. Distributor Renaissance says a couple of other companies have applied to gain this status, with interest in Apple education sales being sparked in part by the July release of the iPad locally.
Edtech managing director Peter Nelson says the Apple partnership fits its strategy of supporting schools that have integrated different technology platforms, but want to deal with one supplier.
It is now able to sell systems that include Apple hardware - including iMac, MacBook, iPads and iPods - to kindergartens, schools and tertiary institutions.
The company already partners with HP, Toshiba, Microsoft, Cisco, Watchdog, Symantec and VMware, has 111 staff and offers support to about 1100 schools.
Edtech hopes to add about 100 new customers and boost revenue by between 15 and 20 percent on the back of the Apple authorisation deal, says Nelson.
It employs eight qualified Apple engineers and has recently recruited two sales staff, both of whom previously worked at Apple distributor Renaissance. Nelson says Edtech didn’t headhunt the sales staff, rather they responded to the company’s advertisements.
Imagetext managing director Darius Mistry says it has always sold Apple into the commercial market, and supports about 16 schools who use Apple technology, but has now gained the vendor’s approval to sell to education organisations as well.
“We have budgeted for a significant boost, maybe almost 20 percent growth in our bottom line,” says Mistry, adding it hopes to sell into schools where it offers the iCare support services package.
Imagetext’s other vendor partners are Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, HP, Dell and Motion Computing and it has 25 staff. Like Edtech, it has recently employed former Renaissance staff. In September, Renaissance enterprise general manager Chris Parnell followed former customer service representative Janet Bailey to Imagetext.
Cyclone Computing became an Apple authorised reseller late last month.
At the time, the company indicated a targeting of its existing customer base in the government and corporate spaces to provide service and support for Apple.
Cyclone employs 48 staff and its annual turnover is about $35 million. The company is another to have hired former Renaissance staff – in August it recruited Education Division staff Tim Durant, Roger Thomas and Dave Hayward.
Prior to the authorisation of the three resellers, Renaissance was the only Apple education certified sales organisation locally. However, it made a joint decision with Apple to open this channel to other firms, says Renaissance marketing director Warwick Grey.
He says Renaissance was “overweighted” in its education business, but didn’t cut any of the staff who moved to roles with the resellers.
“They chose to take the new opportunites that came up,” he says.
Since the appointment of education sales head Ross Fodie, at least four new staff have been appointed to Renaissance’s education business nationwide, the company says.