Tablet sales have been a strong product category for D&H Distributing in 2012, but desktops and servers have also seen revenue growth of more than 20 percent for the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor.
Dan Schwab, co-president of D&H, said the company's overall sales increased more than 10 percent this year, the 12th consecutive year of double-digit growth. D&H's fiscal year ends in April, and the company expects close to $3 billion in sales, he said.
The release of Windows 8 in October had a nice impact on tablet sales, but Android and other Windows OSes catapulted the category for most of the year, Schwab said.
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"We're selling a lot of Microsoft products, even before Windows 8 and touchscreen enhancements. There's a tremendous interest in Microsoft on tablets. It really solves the whole BYOD issue and makes it easier within small enterprises. We obviously expect to see a bigger shift to Windows 8 in 2013," Schwab said.
Meanwhile, while the sweeping popularity of tablets has had an impact on traditional notebook sales, which saw flat or negative growth in several months, they've had no impact on desktops, which saw a surge in sales in 2012 through D&H.
"I see it as a renaissance almost, with all-in-one systems and lower-power consumption and the whole refresh cycle," Schwab said. "Most businesses are migrating into mobile solutions, whether it be notebooks or tablets, but most enterprises are also maintaining desktops."
In addition, server sales increased more than 20 percent this year through D&H, which Schwab attributed to a large refresh of back-office infrastructure because telecommunications, networking and software sales were also up by more than 20 percent.
"We've done a really good job, and resellers have done a really good job upgrading whole back-office server infrastructure, from Lenovo, [Hewlett-Packard] and Intel. With that, when people upgrade the server environment that comes with networking, VoIP, software licensing upgrades as well," Schwab said.
Other product categories that saw revenue growth of at least 20 percent included power protection, headphones and bags and cases, according to D&H.
Another data-center-focused category, storage, didn't make the 20 percent cut, falling just short, Schwab said, because the average selling price of storage products declined in 2012 relative to other categories.
"We did very well with storage. Unit growth was great, but the dollar growth was not," he said.
Looking ahead, D&H expects tablets to be a strong category again, particularly as Windows 8 products come to market, Schwab said. The distributor also expects notebooks to rebound as more, higher-price Ultrabooks, some with touchscreens, come to market.
In addition, cloud-based hardware solutions will be a hot category. Many smaller VARs and end users will help customers build private clouds that don't require monthly billing that those VARs aren't equipped to handle yet, Schwab said.
"When you buy a NAS or a Cisco [Systems] product, they're starting to come with a cloud-based solution built in. That's easier for some of our small customers than meeting and charging for on-demand needs," Schwab said.
PUBLISHED DEC. 14, 2012