Apple has overhauled its channel approach in education, leaving just 14 UK resellers on the books for the competitive vertical.
CRN understands that the vendor giant between 24 and 26 Apple Solution Experts - Education (ASE) previously, with Softcat, Insight and Misco all apparently missing out.
The 14 remaining ASEs in education are: Academia, MCC, GBM, Trams, Albion, KRCS, Western Computer, Toucan, Jigsaw24, XMA, BT Direct Business, JTRS and for Ireland Wiggle and Compu b.
Mark McCormack, group sales and marketing director at Academia, told CRN that in his 20 years of dealing with Apple, this was the most significant change for its channel.
"Apple clearly has a strategic agenda and objective to drive more value through their channel to end-users in the education sector," said McCormack.
"What works for us being part of that objective is aspects like subscription-based services and value-add, so it is not all about price-point. It is a less competitive market with 13 [Apple education] resellers, but actually what Apple are looking to drive is more sustainable services which wrap-around either the iPad or the Mac."
Warren Peel, managing director of Trams, said his firm was delighted to make the cut as the education sector remains vital to the reseller's business.
"For us it is about being proactive and providing the right solutions for the school. It is about looking at how schools plan their budgets and how they are managing their devices. There are a lot of additional aspects we are able to offer around the products, that perhaps other resellers are not," Peel said.
"We have our Tramscloud offering which is helping schools manage their iOS and their OS X devices in the cloud. We remain sensibly priced for schools and we look at how schools can spread the payments too, so Apple are happy with our offerings."
Tim Morgan-Hoole, managing director of JTRS, said he was immensely proud to maintain the company's status as an Apple Solution Expert for Education.
"Education customers need so much more than the hardware and software. Being able to offer all of the wrap-around services that ensure the technologies are used to their full potential in the classroom is essential in this new era of ASEs," Morgan-Hoole told CRN.
Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys said Apple has always had an interesting relationship with the channel, one that has been challenging for resellers due to the vendor's "rigid" nature.
"Apple has been reducing its number of resellers over the years anyway so perhaps they want to gain greater control over how their products are presented to customers," said Edwards.
"Overall, Apple's influence over the channel is waning and this latest move leaves the door open for other vendors to strengthen their relationships with resellers in the education vertical - the channel has options."
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