February 25, 2018

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Services core to distribution business models

by Stuart Wilson, Thursday 25 January 2018

Peter van den Berg, general manager EMEA & APAC at GTDC
Peter van den Berg, general manager EMEA & APAC at GTDC

Distribution in 2018 has moved a long way from pick, pack and ship of IT products, and has substantially broadened its offering with a wide range of services, claims a new report from IT Europa focusing on European distributors. The report, for the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), cites several leading distributors who have invested strongly in services, including Arrow ECS, Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Westcon and Central & Eastern Europe’s AB.

“The distribution industry has become instrumental in much more than just delivering technology products to the right places at the right time,” claimed GTDC CEO Tim Curran. “Shipping product is no longer the mainstay. Today‘s distribution leaders bring much more to the equation through their unique, highly diversified services portfolios.”

The theme of specialisation is running strongly in the global IT supply business; the level of expertise and process of getting really close to customers is meaning that channels of all types, from traditional resellers to cloud providers, are concentrating their efforts on what they do best- either from a technical or market perspective.

This has created a need for others to provide the specialist services, knowledge or abilities in associated areas. Distributors, being strictly channel-only, and with an existing relationship with channels of all types, are the logical place to turn for such help and are reporting a surge in take-up of their services.

It has been the case for many years that distribution has supplied services, some bespoke, some from a prepared list of offerings. It is now clear that this service provision has exploded, with the GTDC listing some 70-plus examples ranging from technical configuration to licence management, from marketing services to finance.

Peter van den Berg, general manager EMEA & APAC at GTDC, will host a workshop session at next month’s DISTREE EMEA 2018, which takes place from February 6-9th in Monaco.

The session entitled ‘Distribution 2018 - A New Turning Point’ will explore how technology distributors have emerged in diverse central roles across all market segments, putting dynamic new services in place while diversifying and strengthening vendor partnerships. It is claimed that these developments have profound implications in the consumer channel for ICT products and consumer electronics.

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