Climb Channel Solutions CEO: ‘We’re Really About A Year Ahead’ Of Rivals
‘If you’re a big distributor you have to live off of Cisco, HP, IBM every day. Their top five vendors make up 90 percent of their sales whereas our top 30 vendors make up 90 percent of our sales. We don’t lose our top 30, they stay with us [even though] they might not be growing as fast as the next one. That’s our uniqueness,’ says Dale Foster, CEO of Eatontown, N.J.-based distributor Climb Channel Solutions.
Climb Channel Solutions has a clear mission: capture as many emerging vendors as possible.
“It’s disruptive,” Dale Foster, CEO of Eatontown, N.J.-based distributor Climb Channel Solutions, told CRN. “If you’re a big distributor you have to live off of Cisco, HP, IBM every day. Their top five vendors make up 90 percent of their sales whereas our top 30 vendors make up 90 percent of our sales. We don’t lose our top 30, they stay with us [even though] they might not be growing as fast as the next one. That’s our uniqueness.
“We sell speed, efficiency and we have to do all the things that another distributor has to do, but we think we’re just better at emerging vendors, that’s our focus,” he added.
And the company is growing. Foster said the firm acquired three companies in the last three years and will acquire three more in the next two years.
Thirty-eight percent of IT leaders are focusing on the integration of emerging technologies, according to CRN parent company The Channel Company’s State of the Midmarket survey, shared at TCC’s recent XChange 2023 conference in Nashville, Tenn. in August.
“It’s very much where we play because we are heavily focused on security,” Kim Stevens, director of national alliances at Climb, told CRN. “It’s a crowded space, but there’s a lot of really cool, sexy, emerging technology coming out that gets our attention and we spend a lot of calories focusing on them.”
The survey also said that most end user organizations only have one to two people in-house dedicated to security. To help with that, Climb partnered with New York-based network security firm OffSec in August to provide hands-on cybersecurity training and certification.
“It’s so complementary to literally every security sale we make. That’s what we’re looking for, is to make each transaction more meaningful and beefier and stickier,” Stevens said. “This was just a match made in heaven for us, and they’re all in on the channel.”
And Climb helps MSPs with a host of other services.
“MSPs have to be nimble because the average MSP is only 10 people, it’s tough for them,” Foster said. “They want the easy transaction. They don’t want to have a lot of accounting and back office if they don’t have to, so we make up for a lot of that.”
Because of that, Climb is always looking for crossover products.
“We’re not looking for dead competitors in a certain space, there’s always going to be overlap,” he said. “We want to sell multiple products for a long period of time to have that relationship for a long time. That’s the only efficient way to run as a distance.”
He said that Climb is built for launching products, even faster than competitors.
“I believe the best marketing is a handshake,” he said. “It’s out there in front of everybody, getting to know your customers, your business owners, all the way through. That’s the only way to avoid extra work for us. So emerging fits for us and we ride them up.”
Partners can use Climb as a targeting marketing project, for example, and move much quicker.
“If they went to Ingram Micro, or one of the other ones, they have to buy into a plan, it’s going to take six months to launch, and we can launch in two weeks,” he said. “We’re really about a year ahead of any of our competitors getting that next product taken to the table.”
Distribution has always been a key proponent of Evotek’s disruptive business strategy, said Cesar Enciso, CEO of the San Diego, Calif.-based MSP.
“Climb is subtle but purposeful in how they add value to Evotek,” Enciso told CRN. “We are a self-sufficient technology provider and consultancy that has invested heavily in industry practitioners to guide our customers. Climb brings a focused portfolio of emerging technologies that help us solve complex problems for our customers.”