Global Convergence Inc. (GCI) is taking big leaps to go global with a strategic push beyond the Americas and into the EMEA and PAC regions to help partners with footholds in both worlds.
The push comes on the heels of the company's rebrand after merging with distributor Interlink Communication Systems and services company Network Dynamics back in March. The Oldsmar, Fla.-based distributor kicked off its growth strategy by opening an office in the region this month right outside of London.
"We're certainly very excited about that," Joe Serra, GCI president and COO, said. "Our existing solution providers are very happy with that and, so far, some of the new solution providers that we've engaged with are also pretty excited about that. We've got our vision in place for where we want to take it. It's certainly a starting point in the region."
While the company operated in more than 50 countries outside of the U.S. last year, the work was primarily done through contracted technicians. "We're not new to the region; we're physically new but not from a business perspective," Serra said.
Two major factors are driving the expansion for GCI, Serra said. First, the distributor's partners themselves are driving the change as they look for the company to extend the successes and portfolio available in the Americas to other regions. Second, the market itself is picking up for value-added distribution in the EMEA region, Serra said, as capital restraints and rapid growth make outsourcing some capabilities to distributors very appealing.
"When we look at our portfolio and looked at us as a traditional distributor, if you will, our most strategic product line in our portfolio is our services line," Serra said. "Solution providers really embrace the fact that we're not a middleman just in the subcontracting game ... our services factory has really been a key driver for us."
"That's what makes us what we are," he said.
Partners that have footholds in both the Americas and EMEA, just like GCI, will be the ones that will see the most benefit from the expansion and white-label services offered internationally, Serra said. That includes partners with enterprise clients that have multinational footprints, clients that don't yet have international reach but want it, or even clients in Europe that are looking to branch out into the Americas.
Nick Giampietro, partner and director of sales at G-Net Solutions, has been a partner of GCI for more than 10 years. He said that the transition is great timing for his Babylon, N.Y.-based business as the company is facing a couple of international opportunities.
"I think this is perfect timing for GCI to make this next transformative leap in their business model that matches up with mine," Giampietro said.
As a smaller solution provider servicing large enterprise companies, including Fortune 50 clients, Giampietro said that he feels "confident" telling his clients that he can support them internationally without having to open an office abroad.
"People buy from people that they can trust, and when I've got customers relying on me and it's something that I can't deliver for myself, I have to go out and trust partners ... Global Convergence, I trust them. They've always been a good distributor," Giampietro said.
"We feel very comfortable with them, and just like our customers have to feel comfortable with me I have to feel comfortable with them. I'm putting my reputation on the line and they have to deliver with my end-user customer. It's been good so far, and I think it's going to get better," Giampietro said.
Going forward, Serra said that partners can expect to see future growth into the UK and other countries that "make sense."
"We will have a similar footprint over time in the EMEA region as to here in the U.S.," Serra said.
PUBLISHED JUNE 27, 2014