Tag Archives: Information Technology

GTDC EMEA Summit – Positive at the midpoint of the year

At the recent GTDC EMEA Summit, the CONTEXT data and team were in evidence as the preliminary results of its annual 2017 ChannelWatch survey were unveiled in a dedicated workshop, and the GTDC Rising Star awards were selected using the CONTEXT data.

There was a real buzz this year with over 175 attendees, a record number of vendors, and senior executives from across the industry. The location was excellent with top class hospitality in the Kempinski Hotel in Vienna.

The conference opened with an upbeat introductory speech from Tim Curran, the CEO of the GTDC. Europe is on the move, growing faster than the US, and with excellent results in Q1 2017. Curran also took the occasion to remind members of the services provided by the GTDC.

We were then treated to a fascinating glimpse into the future by “futurist and humanist” Gerd Leonhard. Bringing together a myriad of ideas about the current technology explosion, he closed off his speech with a slide which really sums up the challenge ahead. Humans can only advance at a linear pace, whereas technology capabilities are advancing exponentially. We need to deal with this so that we don’t become “useless humans” and we must channel the new technology to the benefit of all mankind.

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From GTDC Keynote Presentation by Gerd Leonhard, 13/6/2017 ©

The final session of the morning, before breaking off into workshops and 1-to-1 meetings, was a Distribution panel, hosted by Peter Ward. On the panel were Graeme Watt, formerly CEO of Avnet Europe, now SVP Value at Tech Data; Jeremy Butt, Executive VP of Westcon EMEA; Ilona Weiss, CEO of ABC Data; Eric Nowak, President of Arrow ECS EMEA; Svens Dinsdorfs, CEO of Elko; and Anton Herbst, Head of Strategy at Tarsus.

The discussions were broad-ranging around the future of Distribution, the impact of recent consolidations, and there was a plea from Graeme Watt for vendors to think solutions not products, in order to get the right results for customers. An interesting debate took place about the importance of recruiting and retaining the best talent in the tech industry, a challenging area. One of the panellists said that often when people have been trained up in a specialist area, they are subsequently targeted for recruitment by resellers or vendors. This is definitely the stuff of future discussions for this audience to grapple with and find solutions.

In the CONTEXT workshop the preliminary results of the ChannelWatch survey for 6 out of 17 countries – UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland – were presented. A number of questions were asked by attendees at the GTDC conference who were curious to know more. As Andy Dow, Group Marketing Director of Tech Data UK said, “The more deeply you dive, the more you understand that you need to dive even deeper.”

In this year’s ChannelWatch survey we had an overwhelming response of nearly 7,000 resellers, supported by our distributor partners who shared the survey with their reseller clients. The respondents were mainly owners, CEO’s and senior management, covered a broad spectrum of resellers, VAR’s, etailers and retailers, as well as small, medium and large sized companies.

Overall resellers in these countries are confident about 2016 and optimistic about 2017. This has been confirmed by a stellar opening to 2017 with 5% growth in Q1 panel revenues in these countries compared to last year, ranging from 13% growth in Spain to 1% in the UK. The outlying country for optimism is Spain (71% think that 2017 will be better than 2016) and the country with the highest number of doubters is the UK where 20% see 2017 as being worse than 2016.

The preliminary ChannelWatch data supports the encouraging opening talk by Tim Curran, and we look forward to a positive second half of the year.

The full results of the ChannelWatch survey will be made available in the coming weeks.

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by AS

 

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Filed under Enterprise IT, Home automation, IT Distribution, IT Pricing, Market Analysis, Mobile technology, PCs

As cloud-based technology quickens in pace, Jeremy Davies asks: “Are Resellers prepared for the Cloud?”

If you are like me, and have been around for a while, the next mention of anything to do with “Cloud” will either have you shaking your head and thinking “here we go again,”  trying politely to stifle a yawn, or – like Wordsworth – wandering lonely as a cloud in the eternal debate on where this is leading us.  So much has been written, so much hot air expelled, that it’s difficult to get beyond the hype generated by pundits, soothsayers and venerable Industry Analysts as they attempt to chart and predict the future of what everyone is sure is the IT world’s The Next Big Thing.

The enterprise Cloud businesses are already clearly marked out, we know where that is today and where its going. But as far as a broader adoption goes, and leaving aside any consumer debate, it’s SMBs and the Channel that serves them that will determine how big the Cloud business gets. Today,  it’s still somewhat diffuse as IT distributors attempt to cash in, with several across Europe launching efforts to set up Cloud divisions, but these are early days and the results a while off yet.

But there is one indicator of where resellers, SMB and Cloud are heading, and that is to look closely at what real people are doing.  At a recent European IT Channel trade event, my eye was caught by what I can only describe as a scrum milling around a leading software distributor’s stand. In fact, it was the busiest part of the trade show floor. I walked over, fully expecting to cash in on whatever freebie was on offer.  The distributor was offering were pre-packaged Cloud solutions specifically designed for resellers to offer their SMB customers. The offer was clear, pricing was attractive, and it hit the right spot with resellers anxious to capitalise on their customers’ growing acceptance of Cloud in their businesses. There were twelve neatly packaged solutions, ranging from back-up (of course), storage, security, video conferencing and virtual office. Each application was clearly explained, along with a list of the suppliers who made up the components of the whole offer. On the distributor’s web site, there are videos explaining the service.

And that’s what was attracting the resellers in droves. It was clear, it related directly to business solutions they’re dealing with already, and all the work had been done to integrate the different services into the solution.

Are resellers prepared? Of course they are. It’s up to their Distributors to create the right packages.

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