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It is going to be a good year for distribution, with that tier of the channel well placed to help develop multivendor services resellers can take out to market.
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A forecast covering 2018 from the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) comes at a time when questions about the future relevance of the industry have largely been laid to rest.
“This is a critical juncture in the industry’s history, considering the pace and breadth of innovation. Distributors are concurrently at the centre of increasingly widespread adoption of indirect business,” said GTDC CEO Tim Curran.
“All of the report findings essentially confirm the fast-evolving value that distributors continue to deliver – well beyond point-to-point products and services that essentially defined the industry’s earlier years,” he said.
“Comprehensive multivendor solutions are now undeniably imperative. Supplier partners understand this and are finding dynamic new ways to work with distributors in addressing increasingly complex channel and customer requirements. We expect 2018 to be a pivotal year,” said Curran.
Research from the industry lobby group found more than 70% of suppliers expected double-digit growth through distribution. The GTDC’s Insights into 2018 research found more than 70% of suppliers expected their revenue through distribution to increase a double-digit percentage. That compares with 55% of suppliers making the same statement last year. The top areas of focus will be cloud, security, the internet of things and datacentres. Suppliers are also expecting strong performance from cloud-related services.
As well as selling technology, the other aspect of distribution that suppliers rely on is channel recruitment. In this area, there are hopes from many that partners will be able to uncover some new types of solution providers.
The GTDC research places distribution in a critical place with a view of multivendor offerings that cannot be matched, giving that tier of the channel the chance to develop solutions that direct rivals could never deliver.
The research follows a decent 2017, which was described by Canalys CEO Steve Brazier as one of the strongest years for a decade.
The demand for cloud and digital transformation is playing to the strengths of those distributors that have developed practices and supplier relationships in those areas.