New Ways To Reach The Channel: Distribution Roundtable


Distribution is no longer about the pick-pack-ship functions expected only a few years ago. Instead, distributors are expected to be consultants, integrators, financiers, cloud providers, and app marketplaces, all with an aim towards enabling solution providers focus on increasing business with customers while spending less time on the back-end chores.

Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, IoT, and all the top technology trends are changing how distributors work with solution providers who range from those who are steeped in the technology and just need supply chain help to those who have the customer demand but need a lot of hand-holding to get started.

CRN gathered some of the IT industry's leading distribution executives during a roundtable discussion last month at XChange 2019 in Las Vegas.

The Panel:

Kevin Kennedy, senior vice president of advanced solutions, Tech Data
Kevin started at Tech Data two years ago when he was in charge of the distributor's Hewlett Packard Enterprise business, but for the past 18 months has led Tech Data's enterprise sales. He has a long history in distribution from the vendor side, as he spent 5 years managing distribution for VCE and Dell EMC.

Ryan Walsh, chief channel officer, Pax8
Ryan started at Pax8 back in 2012 as a founding member of the company, with a focus from the start on working with channel partners. For a cloud-native distributor, a SaaS background is useful, and Ryan doesn't disappoint with his years of experience in the web-based and SaaS-based security business.

Tim FitzGerald, vice president of cloud channel sales, Ingram Micro Cloud
When it comes to distribution, Tim has seen it all. He has been at Ingram Micro for not quite two years, but brings a wealth of distribution experience from his former employers including Tech Data, Avnet Technology Solutions, and Avnet Partner Solutions.

Peter DiMarco, vice president of VAR sales, D&H
Peter not only has proven distribution chops thanks to his four years at D&H and 16 years at Ingram Micro, he has also sat on the solution providers side with a stint at MCPc and on the vendor side managing channel development at EarthLink

The Discussions:

We Help Digital Transformation Come To Life

Top exec discuss how distribution has evolved to meet the needs of today’s solution providers and their customers, with one noting that distributors are the few players that ‘touch every piece of the pie, all the way down to the end users.’

Solving The Perennial Security Problem

Distributors are helping solution providers develop their security practices by identifying coming trends to vetting a host of established and up-and-coming vendors, all with an eye on an industry growing at double digits.

Distribution Is Key To Helping Partners Drive Cloud Sales Growth

Top distribution executives say they are bringing to bear the financial, services and technology muscle that is driving robust cloud sales growth for solution providers.

Don’t Call Us Distributors Anymore

The nation’s top distributors told CRN that the word ‘distribution’ doesn’t begin to cover all they do, with an array of services and solutions that touch every part of the IT ecosystem, from vendors to end-user.