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CDN’s #5 Newsmaker of the Year – Ed Galasso

2017 was a year of change for Tech Data Canada. The distributor saw an entirely new leadership team named after long-time Canada president Rick Reid announced his impending retirement, while globally the whole company began the integration process of the closed $2.6 billion acquisition of Avnet. This all culminated in an updated logo and new brand identity intended to establish a single global brand.

With those changes, the Canadian operation is headed by Ed Galasso. A 17-year veteran of Tech Data, he was previously the sales director for Tech Data Canada where he drove sales force training and customer adoption for Tech Data Cloud and led the customer segmentation of Tech Data’s Canadian business.

Since taking on his new role, the big story has been the integration of Avnet Canada, whose headquarters are located just across the street from Tech Data Canada in Mississauga, ON. Former Avnet Canada GM, Brian Aebig, is now the vice president of sales for Tech Data’s Enterprise Solutions business in Canada.

The Avnet integration is a massive undertaking for Tech Data Canada, as the now combined company looks to bring individuals, teams, processes, systems, tools, etc., together. Galasso credited Tech Data teams across the country for keeping the combined business running smoothly as they iron out the kinks.

“Our integration is progressing well, and with time, we gained a better understanding of the differences between our business models, our selling motion, the rhythms, and culture. It’s important for us to understand our uniqueness in order to ensure that we can extract the most out of our, now one, combined organization,” said Galasso.

For Tech Data Canada channel partners, the integration of Avnet will allow the distributor to accelerate the adoption of next-generation technology by offering enterprise-grade solutions and access to those solutions to traditional Tech Data customers in order to provide business outcomes to Canada’s SMB end-user community.

“It also allows us to invest more in our integration centre capabilities, better leverage that on converged applications, and better leverage that on expanding our services offering. I think that will augment what our channel partners have, and bring to them some efficiencies that hopefully show up in their profit and loss statements,” added Galasso.

Even with the significant focus placed on the Avnet acquisition, Tech Data had numerous announcements that will benefit channel partners. Shortly after the Avnet deal closed, the organization’s newly minted Technology Solutions business, formerly Avnet, added three new value-added service providers to the Avnet Cloud Marketplace that will give Canadian channel partners new opportunities with disaster recovery, Software-as-a-Service, and storage. Later in the year it also added software networking solutions from Brocade to the marketplace.

The company also outlined its 30 Days to the Cloud program that aims to reduce barriers to entry and time to market for channel partners looking to grow into the cloud analytics market. With that mindset of helping partners adopt new practices, Tech Data also created a Practice Builder methodology that aims to help partners move into high-growth areas such as the cloud, security, Internet of Things, analytics, and mobility.

As for 2018, Tech Data Canada will continue to focus on these areas as more and more partners expand into them as the company continues its integration of Avnet.

“We will walk those paths with our solution providers. Customers can continue to expect the same excellent support and service, and as we integrate we’ll continue to reduce complexity for partners and vendors and how they deal with the new Tech Data,” said Galasso.