Happy Friday, and welcome to this week’s Distribution Watch, our regularly scheduled look at what’s happening in the distribution space. This week we have information from Toshiba and Tech Data (NASDAQ: TECD), so let’s take a look.

Toshiba: Toshiba America Business Solutions, the managed document services (MDS) and business printing solutions arm of Toshiba, has signed an agreement to partner with IT supplies wholesaler and managed print services company, Supplies Network.

Supplies Network will provide Toshiba’s e-STUDIO multifunction products to Toshiba’s Business Products Center partners and authorized dealers. Under terms of the agreement, Supplies Network also offers related accessories and pre-and-post sale support to the office product dealers.

Tech Data: The distributor has teamed up with the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) to offer support and benefits to its members, including partner enablement, specialized vendor product and partner program support, competitive pricing, training tools and growth opportunities for overall sales and solutions. Tech Data announced it will waive new account fees for all IAMCP members.

"The IAMCP is important to the channel and their members are important to Tech Data," said Tiffany Embry, director of Product Marketing, Software at Tech Data and an active IAMCP member. "Our partnership is a new opportunity for solution providers to grow their business through the benefits that come along with being an IAMCP member. We will continue to provide value to IAMCP members across the country through our active participation in various chapter events, our highly skilled support teams, such as Microsoft, and our broad product offering and dedication to the success of our channel partners."

The IAMCP brings Microsoft channel partners together to leverage joint strengths in delivering solutions to their customers while enhancing their ties to Microsoft. IAMCP membership spans thousands around the world, including 39 chapters across the United States.

In addition, Tech Data introduced a new warranty tool, TDWarranty, which enables real-time activation of AppleCare Protection Plans when purchasing Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) products through Tech Data. Incorporated in the ordering process, AppleCare Protection Plans are available to Tech Data's channel of authorized Apple resellers.

"TDWarranty provides a seamless process for our solution providers when adding protection plans to their Apple purchases," said Greg Parsonson, vice president of Product Marketing, Client Systems at Tech Data. "By adding a simplified way to purchase AppleCare Protection Plans, solution providers can offer their customers an accurate, dependable, and cost-effective way to protect their Apple products. This is another way Tech Data is working to help our resellers provide the best possible customer experience for their end users."

TDWarranty incorporates automated, real-time activation of AppleCare Protection Plans, working in tandem with Apple to check serial numbers, hardware and warranty registration to ensure greater accuracy during the ordering process. When adding AppleCare Protection Plans to an order, the process is streamlined through Tech Data, both in retail and commercial business lines. Solution providers can now ship Macs or iPads from Tech Data directly to the end user, with Tech Data providing coverage through purchase of the protection plan.

And that’s this week’s Distribution Watch. Tune in next week to see what’s what in the distribution space. Until then, stay safe.