The European market IT market is growing faster than the US according to findings from the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC).
There was a sales surge in the first quarter that helped Europe to have a strong start to the year.
Countries that had been in decline last year turning it around with Spain up 13 percent, Portugal 19 percent, France four percent, Belgium 12 percent, Germany seven percent, Norway 16 percent and the UK with 12 percent growth to the end of March.
UK distribution had high levels of new business even if there was the ongoing impact on customer plans from Brexit.
Tim Curran, CEO at GTDC, told the assorted throngs at its European summit that the year had started well across Europe, up by three percent in January, but had been six percent by the end of March.
He added that the role of distribution had changed and its position as a closer strategic asset for the vendor community was paying off.
“We come from an industry based on inventory, cost and fixed assets, but the amazing integration between distribution and the vendors has produced an industry with lower inventory, but much higher fulfilment rates. That makes it more efficient and profitable,” he said.
GTDC revealed at the summit that the top three services now being offered by distribution were: demand generation, education, and training along with solutions development.
“Vendors and solution providers are not yet fully utilising the range of services on offer from distribution, however,” he added.
“Distribution can also help solution providers with skills shortages, particularly in the technology solutions around the cloud. Vendors often say they need help to enable their partners to take advantage of the innovative ways of working,” Curran said.
The CEO of Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) pitched services as a key element of distributors profitability.
Speaking at the Canalys Channels Forum, Curran said the GTDC has 19 members totally $135 billion in global sales and covering 95 percent of the planet.
He said: “We asked the GTDC executives how big the channel opportunity for the internet of things was, and they think it’s a good thing.Distributors will enable partners to understand the internet of things.”
Distributors will be able to provide a geographic reach, scale things with a variable cost infrastructure, and be able to look at things with multiple vendors.
But distribution as a service is taking off, he said. Distribution isn’t just about packing boxes and sending them off, he claimed and produced a long list of services disties offer. Distribution has been good at doing “the smelly things” like credit checks, credit cards and compliance checks.
The group collects information on distribution covering a billion dollars of data a week. He said sales in all major Western European countries are improving.
GDTC trains vendors how to learn about distribution and how to avoid common mistakes.
Curran led five executives onto the stage from disties inluding Azlan, Tarsus, Logicom, Arrow, and Avnet.
A chap from Logicom said it was important for both the channel and the vendors align themselves to bring IoT stuff to market. The Arrow chap said vendors create the room but won’t relinquish their services. Azlan’s Simon England said vendors want to keep control but we (distributors) should be considered as service providers.
Graeme Watt from Avnet said disties were sales, marketing and service companies too.
Services is extreme;y important, said Watt, but it is difficult to persuade vendors and resellers how it can help them.
He said Avnet had been in channel conflicts over services, but that wasn’t the company’s intent. Resellers don’t have to take Avnet’s services. “Where we’ve encountered conflict we’ve either stepped aside or developed “teaming arrangements.””