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GTDC Forum: Distribution investment must continue

Industry organisation uses its annual event to talk of the progress made in the channel over this year and the prospects for 2022

Distribution is set to emerge from the pandemic in a strong position, having already navigated through component shortages and the move towards everything as a service (XaaS).

The Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) has been marking its 20th annual Forum with its CEO Frank Vitagliano providing an update on the state of the distribution world.

“As I reflect on the 12 months since we last gathered together at our annual GTC event, there’s been no shortage of significant developments in our industry. We’ve seen the emergence of the everything-as-a-service model that is profoundly changing how customers procure, deploy and consume IT solutions. Our industry has dealt with, and continues to experience, supply chain disruptions caused by component shortages,” he said.

“From a distribution standpoint, with major consolidations and continued interest and investment from private equity, GTDC member companies are growing and, most importantly, investing in all valued aspects of technology, support and partner engagement,” he added.

Vitagliano said continued investment would be vital if distribution were to move through 2022 with the best possible prospects.

“It is very clear that major new investments are required more than ever, distributors and vendors will play a critical role in building out applications and infrastructure support and financial programmes and business models that empower the IT ecosystem,” he said.

“2020 was an anomaly, and many companies are still finding their footing from all the changes, but the value of it has never been greater – the role our member distributors play in the industry and the value they provide to ensure an efficient IT ecosystem,” he added.

GTDC updated its branding this year with a three-point strategy of educating, advocating and influencing those that can shape the future of distribution.

Vitagliano said the GTDC was stepping up the training it provided distributors around emerging technologies and trends, and it was working with Context, GfK across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and IDC in the US to gain market insights that could support business decisions.

“Another key GTDC objective is to share additional insight and information with industry consultants, analysts and others on the role and continuing value that distributors provide. Our ‘influencing the influencers’ programme will ensure those messages reach a greater and complementary audience of experts and professionals,” he said.

“GTDC is dedicated to highlighting the value of our member distributors in a successful and healthy information technology channel,” he added.

Vitagliano used his keynote at the Forum to reveal that the organisation was also looking to expand its membership and making sure it could speak on behalf of the industry on a global basis.

The main features of 2021

The main trends that distributors have had to deal with over the past year are:

  • The emergence of everything as a service (XaaS).
  • As an industry, having to deal with supply chain disruption.
  • Reacting to an increased focus on security and cloud marketplaces.
  • Responding to a competitive market landscape that has seen more consolidation and private equity investment.

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