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GTDC: Distribution accelerating innovation

Organisation representing distribution highlights the role its members can play in bringing emerging technologies to the broader channel

Distribution can play a key role in helping the channel embrace innovation and start selling revenue-gaining emerging technologies.

According to the latest report from the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), The innovation enablement guide, the speed with which the channel is picking up emerging technology has accelerated.

“A decade ago, relatively few solution providers were adding bleeding-edge to their portfolios, with most waiting for larger firms and enterprise businesses to work through implementation and adoption issues. Cloud transformation and the unexpectedly quick shift to hybrid and remote work are changing that dynamic,” the report stated.

“IT channel companies can now leverage new technologies as an entry point with businesses of all sizes with the relatively low risk of SaaS [software as a service] delivery models, and training and other resources from vendors and distributors are lowering the adoption curve,” the report added.

That quickening pace has created several challenges for the channel, namely identifying which technologies to back. As a result, partners are looking to distribution to take the mystery out of which areas will generate revenue and be of most interest to customers.

There are increasing examples of technologies that have emerged and gone straight into channel playbooks, including 5G and internet of things (IoT), and the report included a list of areas where there were high levels of channel activity. On that list are virtual reality (VR), automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, with distributors connecting partners to those opportunities.

“A two-tier model, with IT distributors playing the orchestration role, is an effective and proven way to shorten those timelines and ease many of the pain points involved in rolling out innovative products and services,” the GTDC report stated.

Distribution is also in the ideal position to work with a vendor community that is looking to get its products in front of the channel.

“Established IT distributors understand the costs, prospects and challenges associated with emerging technologies and can help vendors assess the channel fit, develop plans if moving forward, and support successful introductions,” GTDC added.

GTDC reeled off the list of benefits of working with a distributor, including their ability to provide training, demonstrations and labs, building solutions, utilising relationship networks and providing market insight.

The report quoted several executives from various distributors, including Ingram Micro, TD Synnex and Infinigate, which spoke of the value that tier of the channel could bring to bear.

“Distribution acts as a multiplier and cost-effective way to scale,” added Julien Antoine, chief business development officer at Infinigate. “When there is strategic alignment with the vendors, it is easier to constructively overcome challenges to accelerate growth in fragmented markets like EMEA.”


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