Bell Microproducts named third U.S. distributor for full line of Apple Macs and iPods

Bell Microproducts has been named U.S. distributor authorized by Apple to carry their complete product line including storage and server solutions, PowerBooks, PowerMacs, iMacs, and iPods. Bell Microproducts will distribute Apple’s product offerings to value-added resellers (VARs), integrators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) through its channel-focused U.S. sales operations. These distribution and market development activities will be augmented with pre- and post-sale technical and value-added support from the Bell Microproducts solutions centers across the U.S.

In addition, Bell Microproducts will leverage the depth of its line card with Apple’s complete product line to offer our customers a single source for complete server and storage solutions. Bell Microproducts will be able to integrate Apple’s line with other products to deliver complete turnkey solutions to our customers. This will allow Bell Microproducts to work at a higher level of complexity to offer our channel a wider range of high performance, cost-efficient, cross-platform solutions.

Bell Microproducts offers their customers the opportunity to become Apple Authorized. From Bell’s robust line card to Apple’s complete product line, Bell offers a single source for complete server and storage solutions. All Apple products are immediately available with free shipping for a limited time. More info here.

“The deal makes Bell the third distributor of Apple products in the United States. Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data has been carrying Apple’s entire line since the companies signed a distribution deal in early 2000. And Ingram Micro, which signed with Apple in 1992, is currently the Cupertino, Calif., computer maker’s largest distributor, accounting for about 70 percent of Apple’s products sold through distribution, said a spokesperson for the Santa Ana, Calif.-based distributor,” Joseph F. Kovar reports for CRN.

Full article here.

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  1. resellers like to refer to themselves as VARs (Value Added Resellers) because they do more than just sell the item to you.

    A consumer doesn’t need a reseller for anything other than access to the product if they want to see/touch/try it before they buy and don’t live near an Apple store.

    For companies, VARs are helpful because they usually sell additional equipment like server racks, routers, and cables, can help determine appropraite system configurations based on needs, will install 3rd party software, setup server/network environments and so forth – and they always are willing to sell an on-site support agreement that goes beyond sending your hardware back to Apple Care.

    Even organizations that have IT groups often use VARs because their IT people can be sure they are talking to an “expert” (though the VARs rarely have practical application experience) and it adds a level of comfort to the large capital expenditure.

    Lastly, VARs can often sell a product below retail price, but I don’t know how Apple stands on that policy.

    MDN word: theory

  2. It is good to use resellers sometimes because they can offer products in addition to the ones officially “blessed” by Apple. Case in point is memory which Apple is notorious for charging a premium for.

  3. I thought I would through in my 2-cents because I know many Apple Specialist’s and VAR resellers.

    *start of rant*

    + A reseller can provide a much more in-depth and comprehensive buying experience for a client. Many Apple Specialists and Apple VAR’s have years and years of experience in vertical markets, and the IT field in general. They can do things that the manufacturer simply cannot do – system integration, specialized software solutions etc.

    + Since many resellers have been in the business for years and years, clients can be properly qualified to determine their needs; which leads to saving them money. Buying from a reseller (in general) is much more than ‘buying a box’ – it’s more of buying a solution.

    + Resellers focus on long term relationships with their clients; the client and reseller developer relationship where the client can rely on recommendations made by the reseller – saving the client time and money.

    + Resellers can provide guaranteed service response time for clients that are in mission critical situations.

    + Resellers – Apple Specialists in particular – have some of the *highest* service ratings – better than *anyone* else in the computer business – including a manufacturer’s own repair facilities.

    + Many clients that originally purchased direct now user a reseller because they appreciate face to face contact and the level of support they can get – they got tired of waiting in line for a genius or making phone call after phone call trying to get a problem rectified.

    + One other important aspect to a Specialist or VAR is that their livelyhood solely depends on clients. They *must* go above and beyond on a consistent basis to make sure clients are taken care of – Specialists and VARS are independent and know how to ‘think outside the box’.

    + Service is usually 5x faster at a Specialist or Service provider. They fix items in house and often have only a 2-3 day wait with a <24 hour option as well. That’s just not possible direct. Once again, that saves a client time & money.

    On a very personal note, I feel that sometimes large corporations loose touch with the reason they are in business – their clients. It’s not on purpose though, it’s just the nature of big business and it’s hard to avoid. That is NOT the case with most resellers. Their owners are directly involved with every aspect of their business and have daily contact with clients.

    One other note:

    I get really really tired of hearing clients complain about the lack of support they are/were getting direct. It’s really no ones fault, but the pool of highly experienced Macintosh support personal is very small.

    Since monday, I have heard the following directly:
    1) Customer has problem installing Tiger. They call the manufacturer. They are told it won’t install because the Mac has a *virus*. I make a follow up call and are told the same thing. As it turns out, the client has a CD/RW drive and not a DVD drive. Therefore tiger wouldn’t install because it comes on a DVD. I installed Tiger for the client and helped him order the CD’s. No charge.

    2) A client was told, and walked though, reformatting their hard drive because their printer wouldn’t work. It turns out the Epson printer was out of black ink and therefor didn’t show up in the print window. Customer lost all of their data, photo’s etc for nothing

    3) iMac G5 has strange small coming from it (i.e. the leaky cap issue). Customer was told that they all smell that way (this is documented)

    4) Mac Mini had low volume. Customer was told they don’t have speakers but if they purchased AppleCare, the support person could update with a speaker. (????)

    etc etc.

    In general, you won’t get this kind of mis-information from a reseller.

    For those of you who are experienced Mac-nuts, you should be supporting resellers. It is they who are – and have always- been at the forefront of ‘switching’ even before that was a word that applied to computers. It is they, who are getting Macs into big companies who don’t want to buy a hundred. They just want one to try it out.

    *Note: Your reseller mileage may vary and the above opinions don’t necessarily apply to all resellers – most of them though.

    *end of rant*

  4. Dear “Opinion of Resellers – from a Reseller”

    That was probably the most informative post I’ve ever read here at MDN. (and I’ve been reading from here for many years)

    As an unofficial Mac tech supporter, I’m a professional photographer normally, I can second the experiences you’ve described.

    While I’ve come across many who knew what they were doing, the complete and total incompetence of many many others in the field is mind boggling!!!

    I never understood just what a VAR was or what their value really was until I read your post. Thanks for your input.

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