Tech Data heads west

Amid all this talk of doom and gloom about the economy, it’s nice to know it isn’t all bad news for the year ahead.

It was a nasty week for the Toronto Stock Exchange – the last time the market took a dive like this was when the tech bubble burst back in February 2001. Not exactly comforting news. And there are concerns that if the U.S. economy falls into a recession, Canada will be dragged along for the ride.

But the Conference Board of Canada says that while Canadian exporters continue to cope with weak demand south of the border, there is plenty of momentum in Canada’s domestic economy, which is expected to grow by 3.4 per cent this year.

This could be, in part, a result of the boom in Western Canada. And Tech Data has played its cards right by expanding its operations with a new integration facility in Richmond, B.C., which will service Western resellers as well as VARs across Canada with customers in the West.

The facility will provide configuration and inventory services, so Western resellers can offer faster turnaround on customized products for customers. Tech Data is also offering to supply and stage inventory, configure products and ship them on behalf of resellers across Canada.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, this year’s five fastest-growing Canadian cities are all west of Ontario. Booming construction and manufacturing in Winnipeg will propel economic growth, while Regina and Saskatoon will continue to grow, albeit at slower rates. Real GDP in Calgary will increase by 4.2 per cent this year, while real GDP in Edmonton will rise to four per cent, thanks to goods sector output. Vancouver will experience a rebound in the goods sector, which will contribute to its growth, though the services sector in Victoria is expected to slow down.

Mind you, it doesn’t take a degree in economics to see that Alberta is rolling in cash, and there are more jobs than people to fill them – you can actually make a decent living working at McDonalds nowadays. Rumour has it that Saskatchewan is the “new” Alberta, and investors are eyeing the land (and what lies underneath) as a potential cash cow.

Of course, the numbers from the Conference Board of Canada don’t apply specifically to the tech sector, but it does mean Tech Data’s expansion out West has some legs to stand on.

The distie will offer a number of services, including PC and server imaging, operating system setup, software loads, hardware add-ons, bench-testing, basic network OS setup, server rack assembly, router/switch memory, as well as card installations and upgrades.

This means Western resellers no longer have to complete the service in Ontario and ship inventory across the country – shaving time and money off those shipments. And, with services provided on an as-needed basis, they can compete for larger contracts.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the negativity surrounding our economy right now, but for those who can keep an eye on growth, the future remains bright.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Vawn Himmelsbach
Vawn Himmelsbach
Is a Toronto-based journalist and regular contributor to IT World Canada's publications.

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