The enhancements to InTouch will allow Tech Data to provide a more personalised user experience for customers across its European footprint and improved visibility of return on investment for vendors’ digital marketing activities, enabled by Citrus’s advanced data analytics and machine learning capability.
The idea is to extend opportunities to value-added distributors (VAD) and global systems integrators (GSI) along with additional opportunities for resellers. The new updates provide benefits to partners across the industry.
The company said that for the last three-quarters sales climbed 11 percent year on year to $9.3 billion while operating income was up 85 percent to $146.9 million.
Europe made up over half of the overall sales (53 percent) at $4.9 billion.
Rich Hume will assume the CEO post on 6 June 2018, as Dutkowsky steps back to the role of executive chairman of the board.
Tech Data billed the announcement as the “culmination of the board’s leadership succession plan that capitalises on the strength of the Tech Data management team”.
Hume joined Tech Data in 2016, after 30-years at Biggish Blue including stints as GM of Global Business Partners and GM for Europe.
Tech Data needs a bit of a rethink after its disappointing Q4 results. It had been doing well up to that point with its annual revenues last year up 40 percent to $36.8 billion following its acquisition of rival Avnet Technology Solutions.
Charles Adair, lead independent director of the Tech Data Board, said: “Today’s announcement is the result of a thorough and thoughtful long-range leadership succession planning process undertaken by the board over the past several years.
“The board is confident that our plan provides a natural progression for Tech Data to continue to grow and thrive. Since joining the company in 2016, Rich has been a critical member of our executive team and has proven himself a strong leader with extensive industry experience and operational expertise. Importantly, having served as COO, Rich is intimately familiar with Tech Data’s business operations, and we are confident that he is the ideal candidate to succeed Bob as CEO.
“We are also thrilled that the company will continue to benefit from Bob’s wealth of experience and strategic guidance as he transitions to his new role as executive chairman of the board.”
Schlichtherle is replacing founder David Martinez who will be cleaning out his desk in April and become president of the board.
Martinez said that Schlichtherle was the right chap to drive Infinigate’s goal to grow from a €400 million to €1 billion company in the next five years.
“We are very happy to have won an internationally experienced manager such as Klaus Schlichtherle”, Martinez said.
“Infinigate will face another high-growth period with further international expansion and Klaus Schlichtherle brings along the required experience to manage this challenge”.
Infinigate obtained much of its growth through acquisitions. Last month it wrote a cheque for Dutch security outfit VAD Crypsys.
Klaus Schlichtherle added: “Infinigate is a strongly growing company in the IT Security sector and I am very much looking forward in taking over this exciting task of further expanding and developing the group.”
Infinigate claims to now cover “close to 80 percent of the western European IT security market’s potential”, having operations in 20 countries.
For those who came in late, Tech Data’s moves to buy out Avnet Technology Solutions received the thumbs up from Wall Street, with its share price rising 27 percent for the year to date.
But now its market value has dropped 19 percent as the company missed its quarterly profit targets and disappointed Wall Street with its guidance.
This is Tech Data’s first full quarter since it sealed the Avnet mega-merger in February, and the deal has made it even bigger than everyone expected, with Q2 revenues surging 40 percent annually to $8.9 billion. Growth in both Europe and the Americas was in the low single digits.
Avnet TS has also breathed fresh life into Tech Data’s margins. Gross margins hit 5.8 percent for the quarter, up from 4.98 percent a year earlier, as the more enterprise-focused Avnet business made its margin-enriching presence felt.
But Tech Data’s gross margins and earnings should have been even higher than this. The outfit blamed the shortfall on execution issues, increased competition and a fall in rebates from some of its key vendor partners.
Despite this, Tech Data’s shares are still up by about five percent for the year to date as CEO Robert Dutkowsky argued that the giant is a “stronger and more complex company today than it was a year ago”.
A “significant piece” of the shortfall was generated by Tech Data missing its vendor rebate targets, Dutkowsky revealed on a Q2 earnings call.
Dutkowsky pointed the finger at Avnet’s biggest vendors when he said that the problem lies mainly with “a few very large vendors”… “and these are not vendors that we have had a long history of managing at the volume and scale and scope that we had to manage through this quarter”.
During Q2, only Apple (12 percent), HP Inc (11 percent) and Cisco (11 percent) generated over 10 per cent of Tech Data’s sales, but it inherited a big relationship with IBM through the Avnet union.
Dutkowsky said that a relatively small sales shortfall in technologies it carries in its newly enlarged datacentre arm can result in it missing margin-rich rebates, due to the project-based nature of the business.
A number of vendors on this side of its business changed their rebate programmes during the quarter, affecting its profitability, he indicated. To make matters worse, several major vendors didn’t grow at the rate they planned during the quarter, Dutkowsky added, making it even harder to hit rebate targets that were assigned based on projected growth.
“We’re learning to manage the challenges and the complexities and that’s why we can say that that fits into that category of execution, and we know we can execute better in this area and we will,” he said on the call.
The study conducted on behalf of the Technology Channels Alliance (TCA), said the IT distribution was worth €69 billion 2015/2016 in the eight biggest European economies. US-based giants have a 35 percent share across these markets.
TCA chief executive Robert Norum said that the findings pour cold water on expectations given recent market consolidation and the perception that distribution is becoming a global game.
He said that 60 to 65 percent of all distribution is actually carried out by local and regional players which would concern the big three who think they have everything sewn up when the market is a lot more fragmented than most people would think.
Total European IT and CE distribution revenues across the eight markets rose two per cent to €69bn in 2015/16, with growth driven by mobility, printing, and the IT value segment, the study found.
That figure accounts for 37 percent of end-user spending of €189bn in those countries, or 42 percent when reseller margins are factored in, which would mean that over two-fifths of IT and CE revenue travels through the two-tier channel in Europe.
The percentage share of the end-user market intermediated by distributors in the UK leapt from 40 to 43 percent year-on-year last year, the research found, thanks in part to Apple’s decision to shift some sales to distribution here.
The percentage shares for Italy, Spain and Switzerland also rose, from 48 to 49 percent, 47 to 48 percent and 42 to 44 percent, respectively.
Wholesalers’ share for desktops and notebooks, for instance, rose from 57 to 59 percent and 65 to 69 percent, respectively. This was attributed partly to Lenovo, and potentially also Dell, shifting more sales to a two-tier model.
Bain said that the channels help in the new key technology drivers – cyber-security, hyperconverged infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Vendors need help working out how to get these products to market, and resellers need help working out how to sell them. Distribution is less of a box-shifter model and more of a value-add one.”
Distributors’ profitability, however, is on the decrease, the research found, with the average margin of a ‘traditional’ broad liner getting just one percent and the value player getting three-to-four percent.
Request for proposals (RFPs) were sent out to existing and new distributors last Friday covering much of the software Microsoft puts through distribution especially its full packaged products (FPP), OEM Windows, OEM server and electronic software delivery (ESD) products.
At the moment, Vole uses Tech Data, Ingram, Westcoast, Exertis and Entatech but now it is thought that Microsoft wants its distributors to reflect its recent move into hardware and changes to its business model.
VIP and Ci Distribution have received an invite to bid which could suggest a widening of the distribution channel, or that some big names might be culled.
Ingram and Tech Data recently lost out in a similar review Microsoft completed for its hardware accessories business, which includes mice and keyboards. In that case there were seven distributors were invited to bid for this franchise but only Exertis and Westcoast were successful.
It is no big news, both Avnet and Ingram Micro have seen several quarters of sales doom as they start their M&A activity.
Ingram’s Q3, which ended 1 October, net profits jumped 21 per cent annually to $78.5m (£64.4m) on sales which were down three per cent over the same period to $10.2 billion. Ingram is becoming part of the Chinese giant HNA. It did not hold a Q3 earnings call or provide a financial outlook for that reason.
Tts CEO Alain Monié did say the third quarter had been seen “robust improvement in gross and operating margins.”
“We see further stabilisation in market demand across most of the globe and our teams continue to leverage our investments in productivity and services to deliver improved bottom-line results and growth in a number of areas as we benefit from the broadest solutions portfolio and widest geographic reach in the industry,” he added.
Avnet is trying to sell its Technology Solutions arm to Tech Data. For the combined business, including TS, net profit fell 47.1 per cent annually to $68.8m, on sales which slumped 13 per cent over the same period to $6bn.
This means that TS performed “below expectations”, with sales falling 21.2 per cent annually to $1.87bn.
CEO William Ameilo said Avnet’s future without TS looks bright.
“In summary, the sale of TS allows us to focus on electronic components business, to which we just added unique capability with the acquisition of Premier Farnell while providing significant capital to strengthen our balance sheet and fund future growth,” he said.
Dell, which in times past was positively averse to the channel, has changed its tune completely in the last few years
The company said the extended relationship with Tech Data underlines its “continued investment” in the channel.
Tech Data is one of the largest distributors of technology products in the world, with sales of close to $28 billion and a network of 115,000 resellers worldwide.
Andy Gass, MD at Tech Data, said in a prepared statement: “Dell has made a strong commitment to the indirect channel by opening its full product range to us.”
And Tim Griffin, CEO of Dell UK said: “Over the past few years, Dell’s Partner Direct programme has grown exponentially and the channel is now, more than ever, an essential element in Dell’s overall business strategy. Partners like Tech Data are pivotal to our success.”
The R2B initiative was formed by Context and it’s backed by execs from Lenovo, AMD, Lexmark, Tech Data and other companies. The ultimate goal is to make retailers more competitive and capable of taking on B2B resellers.
“Let’s stop the decline – or stores will end up being showrooms,” Global MD for Retail at Context Adam Simon told PCR. “Don’t just focus on consumers and tablets – blur the consumer and SMB. Support the small business people and their entourage.”
The consumerisation of IT and trends like BYOD is already blurring the line between SMBs and average people. Context argues British retailers could learn a thing or two from telecoms who have dedicated in-store corners in their shops for business users. Germany is also setting an interesting example, as its retailers are already selling heaps of laptops to businesses.
The event, in connection with Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, Toshiba, Asus, Fujitsu, Lenovo and HP will allow resellers to get hands-on experience and see for themselves a range of different devices for both personal and business use running the operating system.
EMS was called upon to design and build a presentation and product demonstration space as well as manage an intensive pan-European tour schedule.
The company said fifty events had been planned over 25 days and the tour was expected to attract thousands of visitors.
Nigel Judd, Marketing Services Director at Tech Data Europe, said EMS had helped Tech Data with the opportunity to give thousands of resellers across Europe a hands-on experience of the latest devices running on the Windows 8 platform from leading vendor partners.
EMS will manage the 10-week tour that starts in April 2013 and will target Brussels, Rotterdam, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Berlin/Cologne, Zurich, Milan, , Ferrara, Barcelona, Madrid, Munich, Paris, London, Birmingham.
Let’s face it, us journalists are like a dangerous bacillus for vendors. Although the press are important to HP, we must be kept in isolation, and any HP execs that come anywhere near us must be inoculated beforehand and go through extensive health checks afterwards to ensure they haven’t been contaminated.
So in the ICU unit at this week’s Global Partner Conference, we were kept carefully away from the 2,000 partners invited to the glittering jamboree at the very glittering Venetian hotel in swinging Las Vegas.
We attempted to visit a server briefing but we were ejected by an HP bouncer because he noticed that we were wearing a red badge – red standing for warning, of course.
It was hard to prevent us chatting to sources close to Avnet, Ingram Micro and Tech Data, however, and to sundry HP employees who hadn’t been inoculated. Because these chaps and chapesses haven’t been press trained, we will have to not name them and describe them as “sources close” to the companies. And we can relay the undoubted fact that although folk from the big distributors welcomed Meg Whitman’s pledge to be nicer to the channel, they will believe it when they see it, if you get my meaning.
We hacks didn’t get invited to the Gen8 Petting Zoo, which is a shame. We would have loved to see HP petting the channel. Nor did we learn about the new compact servers (need three pedestals), the future HP Smart Update Manager (SUM), the future HP BladeSystem interconnect and we weren’t briefed on HP’s Smart Storage Futures (power, monitor, internet).
We do know that Synnex is HP’s largest North American distributor, delivering over $3 billion sales every year. It’s HP’s number one distie and has over 45 percent channel share. A Mr Eric Doyle, from the Intel Corporation, delivered the message that Intel, HP and resellers are “better together”. This Eric Doyle is different from UK hack Eric Doyle, who had a package waiting for him in reception. Confusion arose. The UK’s Eric Doyle was being asked to pay $7 to collect the Intel package. We didn’t see Intel’s Mike Magee there, either.
Dan Forlenza from HP and Aaron Arvizu from Intel impressed on delegates the importance of the enterprise tablet revolution. Those would be HP tablets with Intel chips inside, then. Scott Wiest, from HP, invited the resellers to “ignite new opportunities” with X86 servers and how to migrate IBM and Oracle Sun servers to HP ones, instead.
Ray Carlin from HP told partners that while there have been many predictions of the demise of bricks-and-mortar shops, lots of people still want to go into real shops. As ChannelEye knows only too well, people like to go into shops to eye up the goodies but fewer and fewer are buying there and after they’ve taken a dekko, go online to buy the kit instead.
All in all, the event was a very revealing snapshot of how HP treats its partners. We were successfully confined to sealed test tubes and shipped out of Vegas with due despatch and without the plague breaking out in a widespread kind of a way.