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Interview: Miriam Murphy, senior vice president, Advanced Solutions, Europe, Tech Data

It has been just over four months since she was handed the chance to run the Advanced Solutions business across Europe and the focus is on next generation opportunities

Miriam Murphy has been running Tech Data's Advanced Business Solutions business across Europe since the end of January, handling the distributor's value added operations, including what was Avnet and Azlan.

It is the largest value added distribution business in Europe and Murphy's role as senior vice president, Advanced Solutions, Europe, is to drive that forward and she is keen that the business continues to enhance its position as a driver of next generation technologies.

"When I took on the role I looked and there was not a lot I needed to change. The point is more about the pace of acceleration," she said.

"Making sure that we are leveraging growth opportunities in the second platform space, where there is a significant data centre opportunity still, with network digitisation, and hyper convered...there are lots of second platform opportunities we want to be working on and we don't want to lose sight of that core data centre business," she added.

But there are also emerging opportunities that the distributor is focusing on in addition to datacentre, software transformation and increasing self service tools to help resellers sell cloud tools.

"We have been very clear on our investment areas and what we see as the next generation space and that continues to be the highest priority," said Murphy.

Those areas include the security practice, IoT and analytics, transformation to cloud plus providing more education and training.

"All of those areas are critical and what we are investing a lot of time and money in is developing services that surround those practices that will enable and accelerate what our partners can do there," she said.

As well as arming partners with the tools and support to target emerging opportunities the distributor is also encouraging greater collaboration to make sure the channel can provide a full solution.

One example is in the IoT space, where there have been projects but they have so far been handled by specialists.

"Partners have been so specialised and have tended to work in solo mode but in these types of opportunities partners have to work together. We see a huge advantage that we have in building out that ecosystem as partners. We can be like the conductor in the orchestra. Every musician is talented with their own instrument but in order for it to all come together in the right way you need a conductor that knows what they are doing," she said.

She said that the new world was one where the channel landscape had changed and it was a big opportunity for distribution.

"The big opportunity for us as a distributor is that when you are open to change it makes a big difference," she added "We see every element of change as an opportunity for us to reinvent ourselves in a new space."

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