GTDC Report Details How IT Distributors and Vendors are Partnering in New Normal

TAMPA, November 7, 2020 – A new report commissioned by the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) delves into current industry developments and the overall direction of IT distributors and their partnerships in the fast-changing world of digital services and cloud-based marketplaces. Among the findings, distributors and their partners experienced rapid year-over-year growth in cloud business as the year began – and unfolded with additional surges in related demand as small and mid-size businesses began implementing work-from-home initiatives. Those and other dynamics coincided with the development of the GTDC study, Thriving in the New Normal, with corresponding interviews conducted between March and June 2020.

“This report provides sharp focus on how distributors, their vendor partnerships and digital services are evolving in the cloud era,” explained GTDC CEO Frank Vitagliano. “The insights are especially timely in that all the interviews and analysis occurred as new virtual directions took off with utmost urgency this year. Distributors responded swiftly and deftly in a manner that underscores both traditional reliability and advantages as well as progressive new business models in full force.”

Thriving in the New Normal examines how distribution partnerships are expected to prevail amidst enormous change across the entire IT industry worldwide. Study takeaways include:

  • U.S. distributor cloud business revenue grew 47% year-over-year in April, according to The NPD Group, which aggregates sales data from the world’s leading technology distributors, including members of the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC).
  • Small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) have been investing heavily in digital innovation, which bodes well for distributors, vendors and solution providers as the channel serves this market with unsurpassed proficiency.
  • IT / ICT professionals and line of business (LoB) leaders need each other like never before; these bonds are poised to strengthen in the months and years ahead.
  • Tech innovators cannot thrive alone – and are looking to engage the channel at earlier stages of maturity compared to the past, paving the way for new advances in partnerships and service levels to end customers.
  • Business solutions are more complex than ever, and no one manages that complexity better than distributors; they are breaking into promising new industry dimensions beyond the cloud, including IoT, XaaS, mobility, security, analytics, machine learning, etc.

From adapting to change to now driving it

Distributors have gained strong momentum in recent years and been among top performers with their multivendor portfolios and ability to continuously adapt and now ultimately drive change on a global scale. Their success has been validated through extraordinarily diverse economic, technological, and geopolitical shifts over the past 50 years. These companies, including GTDC members (the world’s largest distributors), have overcome turbulent market conditions as well as the emergence of new types of customers and business models. These challenges gave way to more informed decision-making that further leverages the vast array of channel services and account management efficiency that distributors deliver.

“Distributors have come a long way in cloud and digital services,” Vitagliano pointed out, noting that they will continue evolving at an accelerated pace. “Collaboration and multivendor solutions are more essential than ever. It’s an ideal time for vendors and solution providers to deepen strategic relationships with distributors. They are providing groundbreaking new efficiencies and partnership opportunities that will make a profound difference going forward.”

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