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Although these distributors are bringing such opportunities to the table, when asked for a show of hands how many Latin American solution providers are currently partnering with distributors, only a handful said that they do. There was a general consensus that XChange Latin America attendees aren't utilizing this relationship opportunity as much as they should.
"Distributors are needed because that's the best way for manufacturers to collect their fees without dealing with each one of the different channels, but for us partners, and for me specifically, I haven't found one yet that would really help me, add value to my chain and be a necessary investment,” said Jorge Lopez, director general at Interfase, based in Mexico.
"We know that everyone has been cautious about investment so we understand the hesitancy of the solution providers, but we also see growth. Latin American countries are showing progression, especially in the IT industry. If we didn't have as much caution as we currently do, we would probably grow much faster," said Helio Guimares, managing director for Central America, the Caribbean and Spanish-speaking South America for Westcon CALA.
One of the only XChange Latin America attendees who said that he is currently partnering with a distributor was Carlos Eduardo Garcia with InterWeb, based in Brazil. "I work with one of the main distributors in Latin America because they manage our risk. The logistics within Latin American IT are very different than they are in the U.S. and other countries in Europe, and distributors have the knowledge and resources to reduce those risks," he said.
Overall, the Latin American economy looks good for the foreseeable future, which means success in the IT and technology space.
"My biggest piece of advice to these solution providers would be to pick a partner and dance closely," said Curran.