The year 2015 is soon drawing to a close, and here at CDN, we caught up with Tech Data Canada’s senior vice president of sales and marketing Greg Myers to talk about the company’s recent Cisco Meraki announcement, channel marketing outlook, and consolidation in the channel, including one of the most recent involving PCM’s purchase of TigerDirect.
CDN: How does Cisco Meraki enhance Tech Data’s networking strategy?
Greg Myers: Meraki fills in a gap in our product line. In our Cisco go-to-market strategy, we haven’t been able to provide Meraki as part of what people are sourcing form Tech Data. Now we are able to check that box.
As vendors make acquisitions of new companies, sometimes takes time for go-to-market strategy to find a balance with channel partners. Adding Meraki is a completion of that task. Now we are represent all of Cisco’s networking and data centre and wireless technologies.
In terms of networking in general, this has been the strongest growth category in the channel this year. After a more difficult 2014, it returned to strong place in the market with double-digit growth.
CDN: Will this benefit members of TechSelect?
Greg Myers: Everything we do typically benefits members of TechSelect because they are such a fundamental part of our go-to-market strategy.
Vendors are also members of TechSelect. Provided that alignment is there, the vendors count on our members to read the marketplace and bring the new technologies to market, bring the vendor’s value proposition to the mid-market. This is certainly true of Cisco Meraki.
CDN: Are there any updates coming to channel marketing from Tech Data?
Greg Myers: Last Friday, we just hosted our annual vendor summit, where over 100 vendors joined us. This is the time in the year when we have these discussions with vendor partners around how they will distinguish themselves in 2016. Our fiscal year ends in February, so December and January is when we work with partners to come up with plans so come Feb 1, we’ll hit the ground running.
There’s a number of elements, activities and events that we’re looking at around changes in the marketplace, such as the evolution of cloud computing and subscription billing. But what’s consistent is how we have always gone to market; what changes is the type of products we sell.
Partners should expect to see promotions, incentives, conferences, training, webinars, on-site orientations, and we’ll connect system engineer resources in the channel.
CDN: What thoughts did you have when reflecting on 2015?
Greg Myers: Much of the consolidation that we’re seeing in the marketplace, a lot of this is very recent. In the last quarter or two, we saw more organizations look for mergers and acquisitions. To me, it’s an indicator that the marketplace is maturing. Businesses are reevaluating their place in the market, and thinking about ways to continue to drive profitability and drive customer satisfaction.
CDN: Going from that then, what are your thoughts on the PCM deal with Systemax to acquire TigerDirect and other assets?
Greg Myers: That one’s an interesting one – it’s a second acquisition in very short order. It’s a US-based organization that is seeing an opportunity to expand into Canada.
It speaks to the quality of the businesses that have been established in Canada. The Canadian channel has shown incredible resilience, and companies have developed strong, diversified, developed services and managed services streams. The fact that it’s a US player doesn’t make it very different.
While each of these acquisitions has a unique set of motivations on both sides, what’s common across all of them is that the services activities are particularly valuable. Clear service delivery, that’s the future of profitability.