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CDN’s #16 Newsmaker of the Year – Harry Zarek

This past year marks the first time Apple ventured into the technology channel in Canada thanks to its partnership with Richmond Hill, Ont.-based solution provider Compugen. The deal – which seemed to come out of left field – was led by the persistence of Compugen founder and CEO Harry Zarek, who told CDN in October that he had, in fact, been talking to Apple Canada executives for some time about potentially selling to businesses through the channel.

Harry Zarek, left, and Paul Kerr

Analyst Rene Ritchie called the move a “huge win” for both sides because Apple could finally take advantage of the channel ecosystem and Compugen could sell its customers what business end users have long been asking for.

Compugen now boasts products like the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV as part of its Device-as-a-Service program, allowing it to resell and manage these devices on a monthly subscription model. Particular products like the iPhone and iPad have become integral to many small and medium-sized businesses’ daily operations, as well as larger organizations’ IT infrastructures, because of end user demand rather than explicit IT approval. Zarek told CDN that Apple products are often treated as specialty devices, and saw that this was a chance to be one of the only Canadian solution providers to get such products into companies as official vetted devices. Recognition should also be given to Brent Johnston, senior managing director of Apple Canada, as well for his role in recognizing this opportunity and jumping on it.