What Would You Sacrifice For An iPad?

I missed my chance today to save a young teenager from making a regretful decision.  A boy in China sold his kidney in order to buy an iPad. I’ve been researching how companies can lower their tablet investments and source tablets more effectively. The report will be published shortly, but sadly not in time to give me a shot at preventing him from this reckless act. As you can see, all of this excitement surrounding tablets is enabling people to make ill-fated decisions with damaging consequences. In fact, several of my sourcing and vendor management clients tell me stories of their executives pushing through tablet purchases without really thinking through whether they’re getting the best price or service.

Though this teenager bought his, presumably, through a consumer sales channel, large enterprises have other options, such as working with VARs. In my research I found that OEMs reward successful VARs with rebates and incentives for hitting specific PC and tablet sales quotas. Even Apple Channel Managers target specific strategic accounts in key industries and create special programs for VARs to help accelerate OS adoption, all in an effort to strengthen Apple’s tenuous grip in the tablet business market.  In my paper, I go into more detail about the advantages of the channel and present other sourcing alternatives.

Your situation may not be as tragic.  However, you need to ensure that you help you steer corporate leaders away from getting lost in the excitement of this emerging trend, focus on the bottom line, and avoid a bleak prognosis. In my report I’ll share some insights I’ve learned from other SVM professionals, but I’d also love to hear any stories you have about having done an enterprise deal for tablets. 

Assuming you didn’t have to give up body parts, what did you do to get a good deal?

Windows 8 Revealed: Microsoft Transforms Windows For The Post-PC Era

In a coordinated, trans-continental series of presentations at Computex in Taipei and All Things D:9 in Palos Verdes, California, Microsoft revealed key details about the next version of its Windows operating system, code-named “Windows 8.” Windows 8 is a “reimagining” of Windows from top to bottom: new chipsets, new hardware, a new user interface, and a new application model. Microsoft has not yet announced a release date (or year) for Windows 8, but intends for Windows 8 to power everything from tablets to clamshells to desktops and larger surfaces. The next version of Windows will:

  • Run natively on system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs, including ARM-based processors.The importance of this development is hard to overstate. Windows on ARM means that Windows devices will get online faster and stay online longer. They can take on new form factors, including tablets and hardware that has yet to be invented.
  • Deliver touch-first experiences, while supporting legacy peripherals and devices. Windows 7 “supported” touch but was not “touch-first,” a distinction apparent to anyone observing the use of a Windows 7 tablet or an HP TouchSmart PC. Windows 8 works with keyboards and mice but is truly touch-first, with a redesigned start screen (no more “start” menu!) and a tile-based UI similar to Windows Phone 7.
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